Day 26 - Thursday, April 2 Blind to Revelation DAILY READING - Jn 12:37-50 In yesterday’s reading we reflected on the large crowd honoring Jesus as King. Today, we begin with people who still didn’t believe. The largest majority of Jews still did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. The massive unbelief of the majority of Jews resulted in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Read Deuteronomy 29:3-4 and 29:29. What does the reading in Deuteronomy tell us about where revelation comes from? Are the Jewish people blind to revelations because God has not allowed them to see? Or, can they not see because they are not open to the revelation that God is giving them? Jesus performed many signs and wonders. Some believed and some didn’t. The NIV says that some wouldn’t believe. Using a Bible app, look at what different Bible versions say in 12:37. ESV : they still believe in him. Message: they still get it, still trust him. NRSV: they believe in him. Which version above fits your understanding of who God is? On one hand, God must provide the revelation. The signs and miracles come from the Lord. He is the one who allows us to understand and know. On the other, we have to be open to His movement within us. Our openness to God allows us to see the revelations God has for us. There is a grand spectrum of belief in this movement. Some people believe that God did not allow the Jews to see Jesus as the Messiah. They believe that revelations are reserved for chosen people. Others believe that people have full revelation if they choose to have full revelation. They might say that the Jews were so stubborn and self-willed that they didn’t see God right in front of them. I tend to believe God works within all of His children to reveal and we are to respond in openness and obedience. God provided the many signs and wonders through Jesus. The people have a responsibility to respond to revelations. Belief is the proper response when God reveals. When the prophet Isaiah was commissioned as a prophet to the Jewish people, God told Isaiah to tell the people that they would be ever-hearing and not hear. They would have calloused hearts and closed eyes. Read Isaiah 6:10. What does the Lord say about the Jewish people? What causes God to say this? God convicts guilty people when they have rebelliously followed their own way, not His. God is sovereign and He will maintain His authority. That is Good News for those of us who trust in God. That is not Good News if you don’t. God remains sovereign and people cannot manipulate God. God allows His people to choose their own way. Freedom is granted in pure love. Choosing God’s ways over our own ways is what God desires. Sometimes we don’t choose God’s ways. A consequence will come from our stubborn rebellion. When we have strayed off of God’s path, the way becomes less clear. It is a little darker. It is a little rockier. Our eyes cannot see as well. Our ears cannot hear as well. Stepping off of God’s path and outside of God’s desires inhibits revelations. Verse 43 reveals the underlying motivation of unbelief. What does verse 43 say is the reason people would not believe? Human affirmation and conformity were more important to them than God. In a lot of ways our current culture is counter to Christian culture. In what ways do you let the current culture conform you against what Christ directs? How about human affirmation? How important is human praise to you? Promotions? Recognition? In what ways do you allow your desire for praise and conformity to curtail your belief?