Online Bible Commentary
John 12: 37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (NKJV)
Unbelief begins with a conscious decision to not believe, regardless of how much evidence there is to the contrary. Jesus performed many miracles but many still did not believe (v. 37). If He came to earth today and performed miracles the same thing would happen.
People have different reasons for not believing in God, but I have yet to hear one that was logical. They seem to grasp at straws, looking for anything that seems to prove what they want to believe.
They want to be their own boss. Their theme song becomes Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way.” They do not choose to believe in something greater than themselves, and thus they don’t.
Even when God allows tragedy into the lives of unbelievers to bring them closer to Him, they use the tragedy as another example to deny God. Instead of allowing the tragedy to change them, they use the tragedy as another reason for their unbelief.
God puts up with this kind of thinking for awhile but then He hands them over to their own “gods”. He blinds their eyes and hardens their hearts to the truth (vv. 39-40a). This is a very dangerous place to be.
However, there is still a chance to repent and turn to God. God never gives up on anyone. If unbelievers reach out to Him, He will heal them of their unbelief (v. 40b). It just takes a willingness to let God into their lives.
Even believers can act in unbelief (v. 42). They can be sucked into the things of this world for so long that they value the praise of the world over the praise of God (v. 43). They would rather please men than please God.
Billy Graham is quoted as saying “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.” Some believers would rather offend God than offend men.
As Christians we should pray for, and be Godly examples to, those who do not believe. We should never act in unbelief, giving ourselves over to the things of this world. We should choose to please God, not men. We should choose to offend men, rather than offend God. God deserves our best.