Rejection by Israel John 12:37-43 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This passage contains two references in Isaiah concerning the rejection by Israel of Jesus Christ and God’s righteousness by the Jews [Is 53:1 and Is 6:10]. These references are not directed at individual Jews but rather to the entire nation of Israel. The Jews did not believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah even though He gave them signs by performing miracles (Isaiah 53:1, John 12:38-39).
In the Book of Acts the Ethiopian eunuch accepted Christ just by reading Isaiah 53 without having seen the actual miracles that the Jews witnessed and rejected (Acts 8:30-34). Paul refers to Isaiah 53:1 in Romans 10:16 and throughout the chapter outlines how the Jews rejected their Messiah even after witnessing the miracles and receiving the signs they required (1 Cor.1:22). They had no faith in what Jesus said or demonstrated.
At that time, salvation was intended for the nation of Israel. Since the nation of Israel rejected their salvation in Jesus Christ that salvation was then made individual and opened to the Gentiles, as well (Romans 10:13).
This is a very important point to understand and remember because there are those who pervert the context of John 12 and the verses referenced from Isaiah. This group misapplies these verses to teach the depravity of man and limited atonement, indicating that God blinds those of a depraved mind and that individually they cannot be saved. John chapter 12 does not deal with God blinding the minds, hearts, and eyes and shutting the ears of individual people so that they individually cannot be saved. These verses are aimed at Israel as a nation. This makes perfect sense because right now the Gospel is closed in Israel. While some Christians are working in Israel with individual Jews they are not working with the nation because they cannot.
God’s desire for Israel is their salvation (Isaiah 6:10, Matt. 13:14-16, Matt. 12:24, 12:31-32, 15:24, Luke 19:10, Rom. 9:1-4). “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9. But the Jews would not accept Jesus and Christ would not force it. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ and therefore God rejected them. In God’s sovereignty He could have forced the conversion of the Jews right then and there. If irresistible grace and God’s sovereignty as taught by the Calvinists were true then God would have forced it right at that moment. He would not and will not force it (Rom.11:25-26, Acts 28:23-25, 28:28, Rom.11:25). Instead he shut their eyes and not until the Second Advent will they be saved (Jer. 30:7, 30:11).
In spite of the fact that “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart” (John 12:40), “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. “ (John 12:42-43). Do you not see the point? If he shut their eyes, then how did some of them get saved? They got saved because the nation had been blinded but the individuals could still believe and be converted. The idea of teaching predestination to damnation out of this passage is incredible. The eyes of the nation were shut but individual Jews were still getting saved showing that the doctrine of limited atonement is false and so is predestination.