“Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding. All these God-signs he had given them and they still didn’t get it, still wouldn’t trust him. This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right:

God, who believed what we preached? Who recognized God’s arm, outstretched and ready to act?


First they wouldn’t believe, then they couldn’t—again, just as Isaiah said:

Their eyes are blinded, their hearts are hardened, so that they wouldn’t see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, and turn to me, God, so I could heal them.


Isaiah said these things after he got a glimpse of God’s cascading brightness that would pour through the Messiah. On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe. But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory.” John 12:36-43 (MSG)


Jesus had been doing miraculous signs among the people. Lazarus, who died, was raised from the dead when Jesus called his name. People had been healed, received miraculous provision, and delivered from oppressive spirits. Even with all that God was doing in their midst, some people couldn’t accept Jesus. Isaiah, the prophet, had previously spoken of these things, and the people willingly ignored Jesus, fulfilling what he had said. Although they could see miracle after miracle with their eyes, it didn’t change the hardness of their hearts. The Pharisees had established an order for the people, and it was culturally unacceptable to go against these religious leaders. If anyone should know the Messiah, it would be the religious leaders. But even they missed what God was doing because it didn’t go along with their prescribed religion. Some people believed, but even they had difficulty living out this belief. They were more concerned with being culturally acceptable, going to the synagogue with everyone else, and not being ostracized by their leaders than following Jesus. Their identity was wrapped up in acceptance by people, and they missed the One who willingly accepted them without condition.

Our desire to walk with God is often met by a cultural conflict. Whether it is family, friends, or coworkers who condemn us for associating with Jesus, the desire to fit in can threaten our ability to see what God is doing. Instead of standing for our faith, we can cautiously choose which circles to disclose our faith. However, following Jesus requires a bold faith that is more concerned about honoring God than acceptance by people. Striving for acceptance from people can leave us empty and searching. We can’t be the people God has created us to be if we are always looking to someone else for our identity. Trusting in God frees us from the pressure to fit in. It frees us from the temptation to discard our faith for friendships or relationships. When our identity is found through trusting in Jesus, the fear of people’s opinions no longer has control over us. Jesus came so that we might walk in freedom. When we place our trust in Him, we no longer have a need to find our acceptance elsewhere. We now get a front row seat to all God wants to do in our lives.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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