World English Bible translation
12:34The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?"
12:35Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going. 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn't believe in him, 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke,
"Lord, who has believed our report?
To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
12:39For this cause they couldn't believe, for Isaiah said again,
12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
And perceive with their heart,
And would turn,
And I would heal them."
12:41Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and he spoke of him. 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue, 12:43 for they loved men's approval more than God's approval.
The multitude questions Jesus after they had heard the voice come down from heaven to answer Him. Some of them asked Him a question about the Christ. Their understanding was that the Christ would be with them forever. But, Jesus was saying that He would die. Did this mean that Jesus was agreeing that He was not the Christ?
Jesus' answer to them was to repeat several of the things He has said before. He told them that the light would be with them for only a little while longer. He told them that if they believed in the light, that they could become sons of light. If they continued to walk in the darkness of their unbelief, the darkness would overtake them.
They did not understand these things. They had refused to understand them the first time that He had said them. The author of this Gospel tells us that these things were a fulfillment of what God had revealed to the prophet Isaiah. God had told Isaiah that he would preach to the people, but that the people's hearts would be hardened and they would not listen and believe. If they believed, God would heal them. But God told Isaiah that the people would not believe.
But, some of the rulers did believe. Perhaps it was the raising of Lazarus or the voice from heaven that had convinced them. No matter. They refuse to confess that they believed. They did not want to be put out of the synagogue like the man who had been born blind that Jesus had healed. They loved men's approval more than God's approval.
Jesus had said, "If anyone serves me, let him follow me." These rulers were not willing to follow where Jesus was leading. They were willing to serve another instead of Christ. This made their sin even greater. In their hearts they knew that what He said was true, but they were unwilling to follow.
Hearing the word places a burden on us. If we know the truth and refuse to act on it, our guilt is greater. That is why many people simply refuse to hear. They know that if they were to hear, then they would be forced to act. They prefer their ignorance to the truth.
Throughout our lives, even during our walk with God, we must be willing to ask ourselves, "Am I willing to hear what God has to tell me?" And ever more, "Am I willing to act on what I already believe?"
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