Reader: “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs. . .”
Response: “They still would not believe in him.”
Scripture: John 12:37-38; 42-50
Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 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?”
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.
“If I can just see it, I’ll believe it.” How many times have you heard that? It’s not true. We can see and still not believe, especially when it comes to faith. A few weeks prior to the passage you just read, Jesus told the story of Abraham, Lazarus and the rich man. The parable was a bit more realistic in the sense that this is the only parable Jesus told where he gave the characters names. The rich man told them to go tell his brothers he was burning in Hades and that they should believe in God so they wouldn’t have to come to his place of torment. Abraham’s response was if they didn’t believe Moses and the prophets, they wouldn’t believe someone coming back from the dead. Jesus had just raised someone from the dead a short time ago and had done other miraculous signs in the Pharisees’ presence and still they would not believe, though some did believe. Did it also register as you read that some believed but would not confess their belief because of social or peer pressure? Believing and confessing go together. Action follows belief. Notice Jesus was not influenced by anyone but his heavenly Father. He spoke the exact words his Father gave him and in the way his Father told him to speak them. Being rejected did not change his message. He was on a divine mission and it was coming to a close. With this in mind, pay special attention to all that Jesus will say in the next few days.
Music: “Ah Holy Jesus” Fernando Ortega and Quintessence Ensemble
O Lord Jesus Christ, you have said that you are the way, the truth, and the life. Suffer us not to stray from you, who are the way, nor to distrust you, who are the truth, nor to rest in anything other than you, who are the life. ―Erasmus, 1469-1536
Please plan to attend Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services somewhere if your church does not have them. It will change your Easter Sunday morning!