TEXT: John 12:35-41
35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 189.
Billy Graham said, “Because Jesus knew no sin there is a value beyond comprehension in the penalty He bore, a penalty that He did not need for Himself. How it was accomplished in the depth of the darkness man will never know. I know only one thing — He bore my sins in His body upon the tree. He hung where I should have hung. The pains of hell that were my portion were heaped on Him, and I am able to go to heaven and merit that which is not my own, but is His by every right.”
The Passover/Passion week began under the shadow of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, arguably Jesus’ most impressive miracle. This miracle prompted several conditions that play into the context of the verses we are considering today. First, the Jewish religious establishment became more entrenched in their desire to see Jesus killed. Second, the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead spread throughout the region, boosting Jesus’ popularity. Third, upon Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, the people gave Him a hero’s welcome celebrating Him as the long-awaited Messiah.
Despite all this, we read in verse 37, “Though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” Apparently, Jesus’ subsequent discourse on His upcoming crucifixion had cooled whatever excitement the people had been feeling. The people were willing to trust in Jesus only on their own terms.
John takes us back to the prophet Isaiah explaining that the disbelief of the majority of the Jews was a fulfillment of prophecy. He says their disbelief came about “that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
These two questions are a quote from the first verse of Isaiah 53 which describes the Messiah as the Suffering Servant. The theme of His suffering was precisely what Jesus had been trying to convey to the people in Jerusalem. But, Isaiah had prophetically cited the doubt that would come as a result of this idea. He asked, ‘Who hath believed our report [this news] of a Messiah who suffers?’ Everyone in that day expected the Messiah to be an invincible warrior, hence Isaiah’s second question, ‘To whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ The ‘arm of the Lord’ was a symbol of God’s strength and might. Surely, the strength and might of the Lord would not be revealed in a suffering and seemingly defeated Messiah, but that is exactly what happened.
Warren Wiersbe said, “The key word in this section is believe; it is used eight times. First, John explained the unbelief of the people. They would not believe; they could not believe; and they should not believe. In spite of all the clear evidence that was presented to them, the nation would not believe. The ‘arm of the Lord’ had been revealed to them in great power, yet they closed their eyes to the truth. They had heard the message and seen the miracles, and yet would not believe. When a person starts to resist the light, something begins to change within him; and he comes to the place where he cannot believe. There is ‘judicial blindness’ that God permits to come over the eyes of people who do not take the truth seriously. It is a serious thing to treat God’s truth lightly, for a person could well miss his opportunity to be saved. ‘Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.'”
God showed His might, power, and glory through Jesus Christ — the Messiah who, as Isaiah put it, “hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” God’s power and glory were shown in Jesus who was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” God’s power and glory were shown in Jesus who “bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” God’s power and glory were shown in Jesus who “was wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities.” God’s power and glory were shown through a Savior who was “oppressed,” “afflicted,” “bruised,” and “brought as a lamb to the slaughter.”
The people of that day, and many people of our day cannot handle such a Savior. It goes against their own pre-conceived notions about what salvation should look like. But, who are we to complain about the means of salvation when we are the ones that need saving? If you’re trapped in a burning house, you don’t complain about how short the firefighter is or the fact that he has black soot on his face. He’s there to save you.
If we are to be saved, we must receive Jesus who “poured out his soul unto death, who was numbered with the transgressors; who bore the sin of many.” Jesus bore your sin and my sin on Calvary. It was not a pretty scene. But Isaiah says it “pleased the Lord” to make Jesus “an offering for sin” so that we might become the sons and daughters of God.
Will you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today?
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.