Empty Cross Ministries
John Chapter 12
Why the Jews Rejected Jesus
In these verses, John gave the scriptural explanation for such large scale catastrophic unbelief on the part of the Jewish nation.
The explanation was that the unbelief was not only foreseen in Scripture but necessitated by it. In (verse 38), John quotes (Isaiah 53:1), and in (verse 40), he quotes (Isaiah 6:10; see Romans 10:16). Both of which stress the sovereign plan of God in His judicial hardening of Israel.
Although God predestined such judgment, it was not apart from human responsibility and culpability (see 8:24).
John 12:37 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:”
Jesus had been very distinct in the last lesson, telling them that they must receive the Light while He was with them. I cannot understand them not believing, when all these miracles were done in front of them.
The fear of the authorities can do some strange things sometime. They were possibly blinded of the Truth, because of their fear of being thrown out of the temple.
John 12:38 “That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
In Isaiah 53:3, we read a prophecy of this very thing:
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
You see, the prophecy Isaiah gave was of this very thing. They were looking with their physical eyes with astonishment at what they saw, but did not look at who they saw doing these miracles.
They also, heard the beautiful sermons He preached, but the message did not soak down into their hearts. They listened with their ears and not their hearts. The Lord showed them that He was the arm of God, but they did not believe.
John 12:39-40 “Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again,” “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
Isaiah’s prophecy was from God and was therefore the truth. God does not want them to believe in their flesh, because of facts presented to them. God wants their hearts. God wants all of us, or He will not take any of us.
The Scriptures (verses 39 and 40), would be a good argument in favor of predestination, but I really believe this was the foreknowledge of God. He gave them the opportunity to believe, but He already knew that they would not believe.
God knows everything, even unto the end of the age.
John 12:41 “These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”
This was a reference to (Isaiah 6:1). John unambiguously ties Jesus to God or Yahweh of the Old Testament. Therefore, since (verse 41) refers to Jesus, it makes Him the author of the judicial hardening of Israel. That fits His role as Judge.
Isaiah 6:1 we read “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”
You see, Isaiah was speaking of a vision of heaven the Lord had allowed him to have.
The indictment of (verses 37-41), is followed by the exceptions of (verses 42-43). While the people seemed to trust Jesus with much more candor and fervency, the leaders of Israel who believed in Him demonstrated the inadequate, irresolute, even spurious faith.
The faith of the latter was so weak that they refused to take any position that would threaten their position in the synagogue. This is one of the saddest statements about spiritual leadership, for they preferred the praises of men above the praises of God in their refusal to publicly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.
John 12:42 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:”
This kind of belief is unacceptable to the Lord. In (Romans 10:9), it is very evident that we must confess with our mouth, as well as believe in our heart.
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
God does not want secret followers. He wants us to believe on Him and confess to others, so they might believe.
John 12:43 “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
This is like it is today. Some people are so afraid that they will lose their worldly friends, if they come to God, that they don’t answer His call. As we said earlier, God will not accept those who are ashamed of Him. If we are ashamed of Jesus here, He will be ashamed of us in heaven.
John 12:44 “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.”
We see here, that Jesus is speaking to the large group, because the word cried is used seemingly, meaning He spoke loudly. Since many of these people believed in the Father, Jesus is telling them “If you really believed Him, you would have believed me”; because the message Jesus brought was from the Father.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God the Father sent the Son to save whosoever will.
John 12:45 “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.”
Have you ever heard someone say, you are the very image of your father? That is what Jesus is and was, the image of His Father.
John 12:46 “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
When we receive Jesus into our life, His Light comes in and does away with the darkness in our innermost being. If we are possessed of the Light of Jesus, we cannot be possessed of the darkness of the devil. A Christian therefore cannot be demon possessed. We can be oppressed, which is an attack on our flesh.
To be possessed would mean that we do not belong to Jesus the Light of the world. See above again, what Jesus said in His own words “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
John 12:47 “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
When Jesus came to the world as the Son of God and took on the name Jesus, He was here as Savior. He came to save the world, not to judge. There will be a time when He will be the Judge, but that will be in heaven when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
His mission, as Jesus, was to save everyone who believed in His name.
John 12:48 “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Jesus’ name in heaven is the Word of God. In (1 John 5:7) we read:
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
You see, Jesus is the Word as we read in John:
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John 12:49 “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”
Jesus was the voice of the eternal One. The speech of Jesus was words from Himself and the Father who sent Him. These words are commandments from God.
John 12:50 “And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
When a person rejects Jesus, they are also rejecting the Father. The Spirit of God is in accord. When you hear the Words of Jesus, they are the same as the Father’s. They never bring death, but life everlasting, if they are heeded.
Jesus brought the message of hope for Himself and His Father as well. What the law could not do, (bring everlasting life), grace in Jesus did.
John Chapter 12 Second Continued Questions
1. In verse 37, why was it almost unbelievable that they did not believe?
2. Who had prophesied in the Old Testament that they would not believe?
3. Who is the arm of the Lord?
4. Why did they reject Jesus?
5. What two things had God done, so that they would not believe with their mind?
6. Where in Isaiah, do we read of him seeing the Lord on a throne?
7. When some of the chief rulers believed, why did they not confess Him?
8. Where in Romans, do we read that we must believe and confess to have Jesus?
9. Compare this to our day?
10. Who did Jesus say they were believing on, besides Himself, when they believed on Him?
11. In verse 44, what one word tells us Jesus was speaking to a large group?
12. In verse 45, Jesus said, if you had seen Him, you had seen whom?
13. In verse 46, Jesus says, He had come a light that those who believe are not in ________________________.
14. When Jesus came to the earth as Son, He did not come to _________?
15. Why had Jesus come to the earth?
16. When will Jesus be our Judge?
17. What is Jesus’ name in heaven?
18. What does chapter one of John verse 1 call Jesus?
19. In chapter one of John verse 14, what form did the Word take on?
20. In verse 49, who had told Jesus what to say?
21. In verse 50, God’s commandment is what?