Seeing With The Heart

The person who led our Bible study this morning drew our attention to John 12:36-43.  This text has always been intriguing to me.  Jesus speaks of the unbelief of the Jewish people and the consequences for their unbelief.  I plan to write at length about this text in the Come and See series.  But I wanted to say a few words today regarding our conversation.

1) Sometimes we “lose things” in translation.  In other words, we read Jews and assume it means to entire Jewish race.  However, a closer study of the Gospel reveals that’s not always the case.  Jews might mean the entire Jewish people.  But there are times it means Pharisees, Saducees, religous people, etc.  It’s important that we read these texts in context;

2) John quotes from the prophet Isaiah in this text.  It seems he was familiar with the Old Testament scriptures and makes application to his own time.  We should do the same!

3) The Evangelist speaks of pleasing man rather than God is foolish.  In this case, the “authorities” were fearful of the Pharisees (man), so much so that they weren’t willing to confess their belief in Christ Jesus (God).  I’m reminded of Matthew 10:28.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (ESV)

4) Notice what happens in verse 36.  John says Jesus departed and hid himself from them.  Because of their lack of belief, the consequence was Jesus removed Himself from their presence.  This begs the question: What is belief?  Is it simply a profession? or does it lead to lifestyle change?  Sometimes I believe we have rationalized our lifestyle by saying “I believe.”  However, the fig tree is not producing figs.  My prayer is that I don’t become so blind so and so calloused that despite the signs, I still fail to believe.  Seeing with one’s eyes is so much different than seeing with the heart.

Great Bible study this morning and much to think about.  Any thoughts?

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6 Responses to “Seeing With The Heart”

  1. Kyle Coleman Says:

    Often we forget how much freedom of speech we have in this country. To proclaim “I believe” does not come with the consequences here in this country that it does in other parts of the world or as it did for the Jews in this passage. And so we abuse the privilege of being able to outwardly serve God and even devalue what that opportunity.

    During a discussion several years ago with someone, I was told that what I had spoken were only words. My actions, and who I believed I was, were yet to be proven. In other words “talk is cheap”. When we say “I believe in God”, and there is no fruit, are we essence negating God and His purpose?

    You’re right…there is so much more too just saying “I believe”. We take the human language and cheapen it and at the same time our own integrity. It’s as though our words have lost any real meaning. I can say “I love my wife” but do I show her? I can say “I’m a Christian” but would people I come into contact with say that, or would they be surprised? Our actions always, always speak louder.

    Words without action are not where any of us should be in our walk with Christ. To think that God would hide His face from us should shake us down to our core. We may fool those around us but, and here’s where we should be convicted, God knows when our talk is cheap.

    Thanks Mike,

    Kyle

    • Amen and Amen Bro! You wrote, “To proclaim “I believe” does not come with the consequences here in this country that it does in other parts of the world or as it did for the Jews in this passage.” You’re exactly right.

  2. I believe that God can take care of my children. But only when I release them into His hands in prayer – can my belief be manifested because I am trusting that God knows them better then me and will protect them and that He will lead me and show me what I need to do – if I am listening as well.

    So I believe in Jesus Christ – that He saves me from death. What am doing about that?

    Love it – thanks for sharing your morning meeting 🙂

  3. Loved this!!!! John 15 tells us that there is an action required on our part if we believe and take Jesus as Lord of our lives. We must willingly abide with Him Even Satan believes in Jesus, but he has been cut off from God because of his actions and his own belief of who he thinks he is (his wants over God’s). True belief (being born again) requires the honest action of dying to self, giving God back the life that has been given to me. Complete surrender. Being a believer is not merely words or an emotional experience you had one day but a new life, being a new creation, desiring to joyfully put away the old man ( the sin we loved) to now live a righteous life that brings glory to God. Believers will continue to allow God to mold and shape them. God will be manifesting fruit through them by using their gifts to reveal Himself to those around the believer. A believer’s purpose is to bring Glory to God……we will not always do this, we are fallen sinners saved by God’s grace, we will mess up, but it is the heart that God looks at. He knows if we are living for ourselves or dor Him :). Thanks for sharing Nmpreach. I look forward to more 🙂

  4. Hey Becca. Thanks for reading and adding TONS to the discussion. Based upon your comments, you might be interesed in So What’s It Take that deals with “born again.” Sadly, many have “redefined” the term. Great discussion. I look forward to more of your thoughts. Blessings!

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