Perhaps even sadder than those who refused to consider the evidence for Christ, are those who Joh speaks of in the next verses. In John 12:42-43 we read of many who did believe in Jesus but refused to follow Him.
They did this because they were motivated by fear of what they would lose. They had grown up as a part of the Jewish synagogue. It had been a part of the very fabric of their lives. They knew that Jesus was the Christ, but they also knew that following Him meant that they would be thrown out of the synagogue.
So, rather than following the Savior, and following what they knew to be right, they stayed where they were. They stayed where they were comfortable. They stayed where they didn’t have Jesus Christ.
Sometimes following Jesus calls us to leave behind that which is familiar, and that which is comfortable. Sometimes it means losing relationships and a community. But it will always be worth it. Who is more important in your life; people, or God?
It is not uncommon to hear somebody say that if they received a sign from God they would believe, or maybe to wish for a sign from God telling them what they should do. Perhaps you have felt that way yourself, or maybe even feel that way right now.
It is interesting to note that here in John 12:36-40 we learn that Jesus had performed many signs in the presence of these people who were now at Jerusalem for the feast. These were religious people, people who on some level wanted to please God. Yet, when faced with an abundance of miraculous proof that Jesus is the Christ, they refused to believe.
John comments that this is a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah. It is interesting to note that this is not the only occasion in which this particular prophecy is said to be fulfilled. That tells us that the prophecy wasn’t about a singular event, but rather a frame of mind. There are many today who fulfill this prophecy because they have no desire to even consider the evidence that is before them.
The question that each of us must answer is whether we are willing to open our eyes and see what God has said.
In John chapter twelve Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, beginning the week that would end in His crucifixion. On that occasion, He declared, “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (verse 32).
Here He spoke of His crucifixion, in which He would literally be lifted up from the earth within the week. His death would become THE pivotal event in all of earth’s history. In His death, He calls all people of all places to follow Him. He offers salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.
The cross of Christ draws attention to Him like no other person ever to walk this earth. As we learn about Jesus, we must make a decision whether to follow Him or reject Him, but we can not ignore Him.