Jesus had finished speaking and then left this crowd standing there. He knew some would never hear His message even though He had done “many signs before them.” This unbelief was already noted in the words of Isaiah spoken a thousand years before. “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Is. 53:1) It’s not like He gave up, he just knew this was the outcome and so He stopped preaching.
“Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them” (Is 6:9-10). Isaiah “saw the Lord” – a terrible and awesome thing which I can’t even imagine. Then he was given this as his message for the people: “ruin is at hand – I have reached out to my people for so long but they have rejected me – closed their eyes and hardened their hearts – I would have saved them but this season has passed.”
And here we are again…Jesus having reached out to his people…offering visible signs – healing and even resurrection but there were those who would not hear.
On the other hand, there were the others who did believe… “many even of the authorities” it says. There is a comment on this particular group: the authorities who did believe. They were afraid of what man could do to them. And their specific fear – that they would be put out of the synagogue. Their motivation: they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.
This first thing that gets me is my motives are not hidden from God. He knows my heart. He knows if it is hard or if it is believing. He knows if I am afraid. He knows if I am seeking man’s approval instead of His approval. He knows. I’m not fooling Him even though there are times I am fooling myself.
Those believers “would not confess” – now this is critical to my life in Christ. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). This primary directive hinges on my willingness to confess: IF and when, I confess my confusion and fear and failings and entrapment in this world, He does the clean-up. This is mercy and grace ever available to me because I am totally unable to fix my own life or to find my own joy. It is not unlike Jesus’ words about believing – here before you is a choice – to believe I AM the One who is faithful and just and forgiving or remain stuck where you are.
And so I confess: Lord Jesus, I feel the undercurrent of anxiety and fear in the circumstances surrounding my family. Lord you know all things and I want to believe You are the Resurrection and the Life. I need Your joy and Your assurance…I just need You. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
God has provided more than a way OUT; He has provided a way IN.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 71:26
About the World?
There is nothing hidden from God and He loves anyway.