Here is the second of my Lenten devotionals.
John 12:37-41 (New International Version)
Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them." Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.
It is almost impossible to believe that these folks had difficulty believing in Jesus even though they had seen his works with their very eyes. They walked with him, saw numerous miracles; watched as lives were changed, yet still they did not believe. Like many today, they were spiritually blind. Lives are still changed; miracles still happen and yet man still struggles to believe.
The frightening reality for Christians today is that the consequence of continued unbelief is the hardening of man’s heart. When man chooses to reject God, even though he is presented with the gospel and sees the work of the Lord, it becomes more difficult for men to “see with their eyes” or “understand with their hearts”. Spiritual blindness is the inevitable outcome.
So, what are our responsibilities as followers of Christ? Matthew is pretty specific.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. “ Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
Aware that those who are lost often look to believers for evidence of Christ, should cause Christians to pause and search our hearts, confident that we are the beacons God can use to open the eyes of the lost. It means taking stock of our thoughts, actions and speech and weighing them against the holiness God calls us to. It means taking our commission to reach the lost seriously as a daily calling.
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