36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become n sons of light.” The Unbelief of the People When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 o so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: p “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they q could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 r “He has blinded their eyes and s hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because t he saw his glory and u spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, v many even of the authorities believed in him, but w for fear of the Pharisees they did not x confess it, so that they would not be x put out of the synagogue; 43 y for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. Jesus Came to Save the World 44 And Jesus cried out and said, z “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but a in him who sent me. 45 And b whoever c sees me sees him who sent me. 46 d I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone e hears my words and does not keep them, f I do not judge him; for g I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 h The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; i the word that I have spoken will judge him j on the last day. 49 For k I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father l who sent me has himself given me m a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
36 ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε. ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἐκρύβη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν. 37 Τοσαῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ σημεῖα πεποιηκότος ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐπίστευον εἰς αὐτόν, 38 ἵνα ὁ λόγος Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν• κύριε, τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν; καὶ ὁ βραχίων κυρίου τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη; 39 διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἠδύναντο πιστεύειν, ὅτι πάλιν εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας• 40 τετύφλωκεν αὐτῶν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ ἐπώρωσεν αὐτῶν τὴν καρδίαν, ἵνα μὴ ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ νοήσωσιν τῇ καρδίᾳ καὶ στραφῶσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς. 41 ταῦτα εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας ὅτι εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ. 42 ὅμως μέντοι καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς Φαρισαίους οὐχ ὡμολόγουν ἵνα μὴ ἀποσυνάγωγοι γένωνται• 43 ἠγάπησαν γὰρ τὴν δόξαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων μᾶλλον ἤπερ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ. 44 Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἔκραξεν καὶ εἶπεν• ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ οὐ πιστεύει εἰς ἐμὲ ἀλλʼ εἰς τὸν πέμψαντά με, 45 καὶ ὁ θεωρῶν ἐμὲ θεωρεῖ τὸν πέμψαντά με. 46 ἐγὼ φῶς εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐλήλυθα, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ μὴ μείνῃ. 47 καὶ ἐάν τίς μου ἀκούσῃ τῶν ῥημάτων καὶ μὴ φυλάξῃ, ἐγὼ οὐ κρίνω αὐτόν• οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον ἵνα κρίνω τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλʼ ἵνα σώσω τὸν κόσμον. 48 ὁ ἀθετῶν ἐμὲ καὶ μὴ λαμβάνων τὰ ῥήματά μου ἔχει τὸν κρίνοντα αὐτόν• ὁ λόγος ὃν ἐλάλησα ἐκεῖνος κρινεῖ αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ. 49 ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐξ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐκ ἐλάλησα, ἀλλʼ ὁ πέμψας με πατὴρ αὐτός μοι ἐντολὴν δέδωκεν τί εἴπω καὶ τί λαλήσω. 50 καὶ οἶδα ὅτι ἡ ἐντολὴ αὐτοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιός ἐστιν. ἃ οὖν ἐγὼ λαλῶ, καθὼς εἴρηκέν μοι ὁ πατήρ, οὕτως λαλῶ.
Jesus' public ministry revealed the Father to the world, but was met with unbelief Intro: Immediate context: he hid from them; an acted parable of what's about to happen. Jesus says that the 'hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified'. It deeply challenges our view of God to understand that he is most definitively 'glorified' in his being lifted up - on a cross. Most clearly seen as he really is. For all eternity, he's the lamb who has been slain. Now, a concluding reflection here at the end of his public ministry. Should we question a messiah who was so rejected?! cf 1.10-11 this has been a theme from the opening. 1. They still did not believe in him (v37-43) v37-38 are a kind of theological reflection conclusion on chapters 1-12. Even raising Lazarus led to a death threat and then another death threat. v38-39 So that Isaiah might be fulfilled. We think of fulfilment purely in 'happy' categories. But this is part and parcel of the suffering servant song. Not just foreseen, but necessitated. Therefore they 'could not' believe v39. v40 the hardening is the punishment. But even that, in the bigger storyline, is a stage in his redemptive purposes. [Carson]: 'God Himself through the prophet hardens the hearts of people. But this is never pitted against human responsibility; God's judicial hardening is not presented as the capricious manipulation of an arbitrary potentate cursing morally neutral or even morally pure beings, but as a holy condemnation of the guilty people who are condemned to do and be what they themselves have chosen...' Remember that God's sovereignty is the only grounds for hope! If he is sovereign, then those who hear can trust him and call on him for help! If he's not, then there is no hope. v41-43 glory theme. Whose glory do you see? Glory from whom do you love? From men or from the father. Once again, it's a matter of perspective. What is shame and what is glory. Therefore what you'll pursue freely and gladly, and what you'll shun. NB the pronouns v40-42. It is Jesus who has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts; Jesus whom Isaiah saw, and Jesus whom they believe or disbelieve. FCF . Unbelief. We choose not to believe, and God confirms and hardens us in that unbelief. We do not believe because we prefer the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. H1. Smokescreens and mockery, avoidance. The problem is not a lack of evidence - read John so far to prove that even copious, undenied evidence doesn't lead to belief. H2. Remember that most of what we see in the Bible is religious unbelief, the most terrifying, ugly, and tricksy form. It is the root sin; not disbelieving in God's existence, but disbelieving that he is who he is. That he is good, merciful, holy, near, and can be trusted. Mis-representing God in our own hearts, and therefore misrepresenting him to others. Running from God is a sign of unbelief, like in the garden. But look at the cross and you can't run from God unless you are insisting on unbelief. Any steps away from the Scriptures end ultimately in mis-representing God and thus in unbelief; theological systems and their danger when they are not firmly held underneath Scripture. Seeking or relying on glory/praise from others, is a sticky web of fear of man. It flows directly out of unbelief. I don't believe God to be good, or to be 'enough' for me, and so I think others have something I need - like praise. 2. Jesus has revealed the Father in the world (v44-50) v44-50 Jesus has come to reveal the Father. The word became flesh. Like Father, like Son. v44 believes him who sent me; v45 seen him who sent me; v46 a light (revealing the Father); v47-50 judged by the Father's words, since Jesus has said what he told him. If Jesus' word of rescue and forgiveness is not received as it is to be taken, then that very word condemns you. A word of salvation is equally, if rejected, a word of judgment. cf doctor saying stop smoking. [Challenger engineer saying, it's not safe, in a letter prior to the disaster]. He's the final revelation - cf 1.16-17 , vs Moses. v50 his commandment - like a shorthand for 'everything he's given me to say.' God's glory. Isaiah saw God's glory, which is in Jesus. God shows his glory fully in his Son, in the world. Person of Jesus. He fully reveals the Father in word, deed, and death. Whoever believes and sees Jesus, believes and sees the Father. He has come as light so that we might not be in darkness. He has come to save the world. Work of Jesus. He has come to save the world, by dying in our place. In his death he fully reveals the love of God. The light is extinguished in darkness so that we might have light and eternal life. The glory of God revealed to those with eyes to see, in the cross. Here is God as he really is. Union with Jesus. Invitation . Come to the light: know and trust God as he really is! Choose the glory that comes from God! Choose being honoured by him rather than by the world. He loves to see people honouring his Son by trusting, loving, and following him in lives of self-giving. Confrontation . Jesus' saving word will condemn those who do not believe. Consolation . The glory from God is true, lasting. His commandment is eternal life. Wrap up: Thus, we wrap up our first half: Jesus reveals the Father in the world through word and deed. Now it's the transition to the inner circle ( 13.1 ). But it's an inner circle anyone can join. Now we are going to see the glory of God revealed in the suffering and death of Jesus. Other refs: Isaiah 53.1 Isaiah 6.10 Isaiah 63.15-19 Romans 9.18, 2 Thess. 2.11 Isaiah 28.21-22. Hardening is a stage in God's 'strange work' to bring about redemption. Romans 9.22-23