When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
John 12:37-43 ESV
There is a saying “seeing is believing”. But from what we read today, seeing may not always result in believing. People had seen many miracles Jesus performed right in front of them, but they still did not believe in Him. Although some believed they chose not to confess it because of fear. God knows everyone’s heart. He knew people would not believe even after they had heard and seen Him in person. Those people’s eyes were blinded and their hearts were hardened, just as He prophesied through Isaiah. However, the disbelief of people did not stop the Father from giving His only Son, and the Son from giving up His life for the world. Had God only considered the result by seeing how many people believed when he was on earth or had he only considered the temporary glory He received from people on earth, salvation wouldn’t have been done. Praise the Lord that He looked beyond the immediate result of His ministry and set His focus on finishing God’s plan which impacts eternity.
When we do God’s work, when we share His name or simply try to live out our Christian life, we may also encounter criticism and disbelief from people. It was not a popular job then, and it’s still not a popular job now. But let us once again be reminded that we are not to please people, but to please our God, our King. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18) When we follow God’s commands and do His work, we may not see immediate results from what we do. But what matters the most is not the results that we can see, but the valuable unseens – faith developed, lessons and skills learned, relationships strengthened, characters built, and most importantly, His pleasure, honor, and glory. No matter how people respond, fix our eyes on Jesus. May the Lord help us to follow Him and live by faith, and not by sight.
Dear Lord, thank you for dying on the cross for me even when I was still a sinner. It is because of your great love and mercy that I am saved. I am of little faith. Help my faith to grow, and remind me that you are the only one that I need to please in everything that I do. Help me to fix my eyes on you, and to walk by faith, and not by sight.