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Blinded Eyes and Deadened Hearts

Blinded Eyes and Deadened Hearts
Words of Faith 1-6-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 12
[37] Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. [38] This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
[39] For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
[40] "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them."
[41] Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

Jesus had performed many miracles, yet many people still didn't believe in Him. It is sort of shocking to us. How could that be?
In John’s Gospel we hear again and again the important of “believing on Him”, not just as a casual thought but as complete trust. From the beginning of his Gospel, John talks about a national unbelief. In spite of all Jesus' miraculous signs, they still would not believe in Him. Their unbelief was to the point of being irrational.
This national, irrational unbelief had actually been predicted by Isaiah the prophet. Isaiah prophetically announced a Messiah who would be a “suffering servant”. The clearest Old Testament passage concerning the suffering Servant (Isa. 53:1-12) begins by stating that Israel would not perceive God's revelation in and through the Servant. “Who has believed our message and seen His arm... revealed?”
Only a few had believed in spite of the wonders revealed.
John again quoted from Isaiah (6:10) to explain that the nation as a whole was unable to believe. Because they constantly rejected God's revelation, He had punished them with a judicial blindness and deadened hearts.
People in Jesus' day, like those in Isaiah's day, refused to believe. They "would not believe"… therefore they could not believe. This is an example of the consequence that God brings for persistent sin, a hardening of the heart.
Does that mean God intentionally prevented these people from believing in Him? No, He simply confirmed their own choices. After a lifetime of resisting God, they had become so set in their ways that they wouldn't even try to understand Jesus' message. For such people, it is virtually impossible to come to God—their hearts have been permanently hardened.
We don’t have to ponder this long to see how similar it is to the day we live in. Many today won't believe despite all God does. At a certain point, we even see the hardening of heart in which those who would not believe now could not believe.
But it is important that we do not become discouraged in our witness for Christ. We will encounter such hardened hearts but that doesn’t mean God is not at work. Our job is to continue as a faithful witness. You are responsible to reach out to others, but they are responsible for their own decisions. And God is always responsible for the results.

Father God, may I live this day faithfully for You. May Your Light shine in me. May my words reflect your love and Gospel of grace. May Your Spirit soften the hearts of those You are calling to Yourself. May I be found faithful as a witness for You. In Jesus’ Name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.