I. "YET THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM."
A. Seeing the many miracles did not in itself make believers of them.
1. So many times we think of our unsaved friends, and we think that if they could only see a miracle surely then they would believe on Jesus.
2. There are many people who are going around looking for miracles in order to build their faith.
a. Now faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
b. Miracles do not create saving faith in God.
B. John has recorded for us many of the signs that Jesus has done. He tells us of His turning the water into wine; the cleansing of the temple; the healing of the nobleman's son at a distance; the lame man at the pool of Bethesda; the feeding of the five thousand; the stilling of the storm; opening the eyes of the man born blind; raising Lazarus from the dead.
C. He had said six things about Himself. I am the Bread of Life; I am the light of the world; Before Abraham was I Am; I am the Door; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Resurrection and the Life.
1. All of these statements are very radical, and they force one to have an opinion of the person making the statement.
2. In the case of the Jews for the most part, they believed them not.
3. His disciples believed them, and John tells us that many of the rulers believed them but for fear of the Jews kept their belief's secret.
D. The world of that day was divided into those who believed and those who did not believe.
1. Ever since that time the world is still divided into those same two categories.
2. You here this evening are also divided into one of the two camps. Believers, non-believers. Hope, no hope, life or death, a destiny of heaven or hell.
II. THIS UNBELIEF WAS ACTUALLY PROPHESIED BY ISAIAH, IT THUS BECAME A FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY.
A. In the 53rd chapter of Isaiah he begins "Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
1. We realize that the 53rd chapter of Isaiah is one of the clearest prophecies in all of the scripture of the rejection of the Messiah and His subsequent, substitutionary death.
2. Isaiah makes a reference that his prophecy of the rejection and death of the Messiah would not be believed.
B. "Therefore they could not belive."
1. This has now gone beyond the "would not believe" to "could not believe."
2. At the beginning of their rejection of the signs that He was demonstrating, it was a matter of their choosing not to believe.
3. It came to the place where it was no longer a matter of choice, but a matter of fact, they now could not believe.
4. They had said no once too often to the signs and claims of Jesus Christ, and had now come to the place where they could not believe.
5. When the incontrovertible evidence of the raising of Lazarus from the dead has been presented to them, they cannot change the position they have taken.
C. There was earlier evidence that they were getting close to this point.
1. In Matthew 12
we read that they brought to Jesus a man who was possessed with a devil, was blind, and a mute, and Jesus healed him so that he both saw and spake. Many people began to believe with this sign that He was the Messiah, but the Pharisees said that he was doing the miracles by the power of the devil.
2. Jesus warned them that they were approaching the point of committing the sin for which there was no forgiveness. Their attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil was showing that they were getting close to the point of no return.
3. The sin for which there is no forgiveness is the rejection of Jesus Christ as your Savior. He is the only provision God has made for man's sin. To reject Him is to assume the responsibility and punishment for your own sin.
4. You can only reject Him so much, and God will one day shut the door on you.
a. In the days of Noah, we find that he was a preacher of righteousness, and for a hundred years he warned the people of the coming judgment of God for their sins. They rejected his message until one day God called Noah into the ark, and we read that God shut the door.
b. God had told Noah, that His Spirit would not always strive with man. That day had come when God would no longer strive with man, and He brought Noah into the safety of the ark and His judgment came upon the whole earth.
c. If God's Spirit is still tugging at your heart to accept Jesus as your Savior, be thankful, but also take care not to put it off any longer, for this could be the last time God will call you to repentance. Your heart could go stone cold towards God and the things of God before tomorrow morning, and it might be said of you, "Therefore he could not believe."
III. ISAIAH SAID AGAIN, "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HARDENED THEIR HEARTS; THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND BE CONVERTED."
A. This is a case of God confirming the position that a person has taken, like that of Pharoah in the Old Testament.
1. We read that Pharoah hardened his heart against the Lord, and again that Pharoah hardened his heart against the Lord, but finally we read that God hardened the heart of Pharoah.
2. There are two Hebrew words employed that are both translated hardened.
a. The first is used of Pharoah hardening his heart against God.
b. When it declares that God hardened the heart of Pharoah, the word is "made stiff," i.e., God firmed the position that he had already taken.
3. If you continually close your eyes to the truth, there will come a day when God will confirm your position, and you cannot see the truth.
4. If you continually harden your heart against Jesus Christ, there will come a day when God will make stiff your heart in the position that you have taken, and you will not be able to see, or believe, or understand the things of God.
B. These are the things Isaiah said when he saw His glory, and he was speaking of Him.