Jesus’ message was not believed

The Choir Anthem:
From heaven’s bright throne and courts filled with praise
King Jesus came humbly, a servant of grace.
Trading His glory for shadows and fears,
He washes the feet of the world with His tears.
And who is this King that lays aside His crown?
Who is the King that gently kneels down?
Who is this King that comes to the meek,
strengthens the weak?
Who is this King?
Think about what it means to NOT be believed. One declares a message of TRUTH but no one cares, no one believes you. Oftentimes we do not believe children, do we? Do you know how many times Mercedes has told me there is a bear in her room? How many times has there been a bear in her room? That’s right, there has never been a bear in her room. We have told it to go away. But sometimes Mercedes has shocked me. She’ll say something is in there and I am thinking, “no, no, not true.” Then I go in and look and sure enough, there is a bug or something in her room. We tend to doubt.
What does that feel like? What is it like when you know you are right and no one believes you?
When Meagan and I were in our second year of marriage I was at work at McDonalds as a manager. Meagan was at home. There was a stray cat that had been coming around our house and so we had been feeding it. A few days prior to this date the cat disappeared. While I was at work the cat came out. The cat had a broken leg and was a mess. The cat was drooling and acting funny. Meagan thought it had rabbis and so she called my dad to see if he could help take care of it. My dad came out to our house and you know what? The cat rolled away and tried to play and just act normal. Of course, Meagan was like, “There is something wrong with this cat.” Did not matter, so my dad left and the cat stayed. Later on I come home from work and the cat is acting terrible. I grab a box and we take it to a weekend veterinarian. She thought it had distemper and started treating it. Within a few days the cat died. The cat TRULY was sick.
Let’s read Isa. 53:1 and John 12:37-38:
Isaiah 53:1:
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
John 12:37-38:
Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
I have a few applications:
1. Sometimes we will share the Gospel and people doubt, but they did not even believe Jesus.
2. We must worship Jesus, knowing what it is like to not be believed and knowing that He went through that humiliation.
3. We must be encouraged by God’s Word, prophesying this and then it comes about.

So, let’s talk about these:
I. Sometimes we will share the Gospel and people doubt, but they did not even believe Jesus.
a. So, it is easy for us to think, “Why should I share Jesus with people, they are not going to believe me.
b. But we must keep sharing Jesus even when not believed. Jesus came with Truth. Jesus knew people would not believe but He came with Truth. The other thought with that comment is that no one will believe. Some did believe Jesus and some will believe us.
c. By the way, we are commanded to share Jesus whether someone will believe or not and if we think it is Truth we will not be able to stop sharing Jesus.
d. There is important context to this passage:
i. In John 12:37-38, or rather 36-40, John writes about people not believing the message even though Jesus did many signs and miracles.
ii. Starting in John 12:27: Jesus is praying and asks the Lord to glorify His (the Father’s) name.
iii. There was then a voice out of Heaven saying “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.
1. Okay, if I am with someone, or rather a crowd and I hear a voice out of heaven, I may believe something that person is saying.
iv. Verse 29: the crowd around them heard it as well and some said that it had thundered and others said that an angel had spoken.
v. Verse 30-31: Jesus said that the voice was for their sake, not Him. Judgment was coming, the ruler of the world has been cast out. That would be the devil and the cross conquered the devil.
vi. Verse 32: Jesus says that He will be lifted up and if He is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself.
vii. Verse 33 John makes a note that Jesus was stating this to mean the type of death He was to die.
viii. Verse 34: The people ask who the Son of Man is stating that they have heard out of the law that the Christ is to remain forever. They are confused.
ix. Verses 35-36: Jesus talks about the Light being among them for a little while and Jesus asks them to walk in the Light.
x. Verse 37 tells us that He performed many signs among them, yet they were not believing in Him.
xi. Verses 38ff are quotes from Isaiah 53:1 and 6:10:
xii. God has blinded their eyes.
xiii. God has hardened their hearts.
xiv. So that…
xv. They would not see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, and be converted and God would heal them.
1. This is comparing the Israelites to idols who have ears but cannot hear, eyes but cannot see.
2. Now, this seems extreme. God kept them from believing.
3. Only God cam empower one to believe.
4. But also understand that this passage was a quote from the Old Testament and in Isaiah 6:10, the context is that the people would make idols and the idols have ears to hear and eyes to see but they really cannot hear or see. God was comparing the Hebrew people to idols. The people rejected God, so He turned them over to their ways. God made them like idols. I think the same is true in John’s Gospel, God turns them over to their ways. They hardened their hearts, so He hardened their hearts.
xvi. Verse 41: Isaiah said this because He saw the Lord’s glory and spoke of it.
xvii. Verse 42-43: Some believed but would not share it because the people loved the approval of men, not the approval of God.
e. But understand that some believed Jesus. Interesting that in Isaiah 6:9 Isaiah is told that he will preach but they will not believe. However, in Isaiah 6:13 God says that a tenth will remain and believe.
f. Again, I will understand that only God can empower one to believe.
g. So, what do we do, be encouraged, the people did not believe Jesus, the people did not believe Isaiah. The people heard a voice from Heaven and did not believe Jesus. In the previous chapter Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and they did not believe Jesus. I believe it is safe to say most will not believe us.
h. HOWEVER, some will and we do not know who the some are. So, keep sharing Jesus with people.
II. We must worship Jesus, knowing what it is like to not be believed and knowing that He went through that humiliation.
a. As we read these passages about the suffering servant does that call us to worship Jesus more?
b. Does this draw us closer to Him?
c. How do we respond?
d. We all know what it is like to not be believed. Right?
e. We know what it is like when people doubt us, isn’t that what it is like to have teenagers in the home? They never believe you and you don’t know anything?
f. Jesus, the creator, Jesus, the one true God, Jesus, our Lord, He became one of us, in order to save us, and He was rejected.
g. He was here for us anyways, but most did not believe Him.
John Stott on How the Cross Speaks to Injustice and Suffering
How does the cross of Jesus speak to a world of pain, poverty, and injustice? After explaining the full range of biblical ideas of the atonement, Stott concludes his book with a chapter entitled “Suffering and glory.” He describes the miserable conditions of millions of people who live in shanty towns of Africa and Asia, thebarriadas of Latin American and the favelas of Brazil.
Then he tells a story about an imaginary poor man from the slums of Brazil who climbs 2,310 feet up the mountain to the colossal statue of Christ that towers above Rio de Janeiro—”The Christ of Corcovado.” (For an image of the statue click here.) After the difficult climb, the poor man finally reaches Jesus and says,
I have climbed up to meet you, Christ, from the filthy, confined quarters down there … to put before you, most respectfully, these considerations: there are 900,000 of us down there in the slums of that splendid city … And you … do you remain here at Corcovado surrounded by divine glory? Go down there to the favelas … Don’t stay away from us; live among us and give us new faith in you and in the Father. Amen.
Stott asks, “What would Christ say in response to such an entreaty? Would he not say ‘[in the suffering of the cross] I did come down to live among you, and I live among you still'”?
Then Stott adds,
We have to learn to climb the hill called Calvary, and from that vantage-ground survey all life’s tragedies. The cross does not solve the problem of suffering, but it supplies the essential perspective from which to look at it … . Sometimes we picture [God] lounging, perhaps dozing, in some celestial deck-chair, while the hungry millions starve to death … . It is this terrible caricature of God which the cross smashes to smithereens.
John Stott, The Cross of Christ (InterVarsity Press, 2006), pp. 320, 333

h. So, worship our Savior.
i. So, love our Savior.
III. We must be encouraged by God’s Word, prophesying this and then it comes about.
a. The last application is the connection in the Scriptures. This is once again a case where the Scriptures match up. This is 700 years prior to Jesus and it came to pass.
b. Be encouraged, we can trust the Bible.
Closing:
Master Violinist Goes Unrecognized
Joshua Bell emerged from the Metro and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript—a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play.
For the next 45 minutes, in the D.C. Metro on January 12, 2007, Bell played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, most hardly taking notice. If they had paid attention, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. They also might have noted the violin he played—a rare Stradivarius worth over $3 million. It was all part of a project arranged by The Washington Post—”an experiment in context, perception, and priorities—as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste. In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”
Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell garnered about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation.

1. Sometimes we will share the Gospel and people doubt, but they did not even believe Jesus.
2. We must worship Jesus, knowing what it is like to not be believed and knowing that He went through that humiliation.
3. We must be encouraged by God’s Word, prophesying this and then it comes about.

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
Pray

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