What Jesus Did! 'Couldn't Believe' — John 12:37-41

Friday, August 31, 2018

Jesus did all these many miracles. The people saw these things, but they still did not believe in him. This was to make clear the full meaning of what Isaiah the prophet said: "Lord, who believed the things we told them? Who has seen the Lord's power?" This is why the people could not believe. Because Isaiah also said, "God made the people blind. God closed their minds. God did this so that they will not see with their eyes and understand with their minds. God did this so that they would not turn and be healed." Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory. So Isaiah spoke about him.
— John 12:37-41 NLT
Illustration of John 12:37-41 NLT — "Lord, who believed the things we told them? Who has seen the Lord's power?"

Key Thought

Wow! This is a tough Scripture. These people didn't believe because they couldn't believe. Of course, this statement needs to be put together with other passages in John where we learn that they wouldn't believe and that if people would genuinely seek God they could come to believe. What is the point? Some religious people can't and won't believe it even when God's truth is spoken and shown. One reason is that their hearts are hardened to the truth. When we are sharing Christ with others, some just won't believe. We are never quite sure why they don't, but God knows. Let's always ask the Father to open the door to their hearts through circumstances in their life that will make them more readily available to receive God's message in Jesus.

Today's Prayer

O gracious and sovereign God, I do not understand all the ways you work in the lives and upon the hearts of your human children. So I pray for those I know that are not near to you. I pray for those who have rejected you. Please work in their lives to give your people a chance to share your grace with them. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 5:39-47
  • John 10:24-32
  • John 7:17


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.