Context: Jesus continues his discourse following Palm Sunday to further support and proclaim his claim as the Messiah King, but also to say that ‘God, the Father, has spoken and bears witness of His son.’ To paraphrase a bit: If you choose not to believe you will be judged for that decision, since the very words (and signs) I have spoken and performed bear witness of the truth. ‘If you have seen me, you have seen the one who sent me,’ he declared. Many people rejected Jesus, yet many believed, too. Many even in authority (or positions of leadership) did believe but were unwilling to openly confess and profess that faith lest they be put out of the synagogue.
Observations: Reread the two prophesies from Isaiah. What is Isaiah feeling and thinking as he makes the Spirit-led statements? Why does God blind people’s eyes and harden their hearts if he truly desires everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth? Does God hold people accountable to the light and truth about Jesus and the Gospel that is shed into their lives, hearts and experiences?
Application: Review some aspects of Jesus’ life and teaching that are recorded in John. Ask God to ‘open the eyes of your heart’ to see them more clearly. Respond today with trust, worship and obedience. Prepare yourself for the Palm Sunday celebration tomorrow! What kind of ‘darkness’ are people experiencing in our COVID-19 world? How can you, fellow believers and our local church be more effective lights in that darkness? Do one thing this next week to be that light.
Prayer: Ask God to ‘take your blinders’ off! Ask God to open the eyes of others around you; to penetrate the darkness with His light. Pray for New People, New Place, New Leaders and New Stories.