Tuesday, November 4, 2014

John 12:34-50

Imagine with me for a moment that you and I walk to the street in front of your house. As we approach the curb, you notice a little Ford Escort. It is tan, a bit rusty, and about thirty years old, nothing really to oogle over. As we walk around the car, you notice that this car is the most basic car ever, perhaps even a bit underwhelming. However, when we climb into the car, I explain to you that under the hood is a brand new modified engine from a Ferrari Enzo. I further explain that while this car doesn’t look like much, the engine on this car can take us over 200 mph. Clicking the seatbelts, you chuckle with doubt as I brag that we could cover a quarter of a mile start to finish in 11 seconds.
As soon as we click the seatbelts in, I insert my key into the ignition and turn it. Roaring with power that was completely unexpected for this little car, the engine begins to purr like nothing you’ve ever heard before. For the first time since we walked outside you actually start to think that my Ferrari claim is possible. As I double check that you are wearing your seatbelt, I reach into the back seat and grab a couple of helmets, and hand one to you. You laugh as you ask me, “What, am I supposed to wear this?” Without responding I put your helmet in your lap and begin strapping mine on. Not fully convinced but a little bit nervous about the purring engine, you quickly follow suit.
Through my helmet, you hear me holler out, “Let’s do this,” as I slam the car into gear and shove the pedal to the floor. In an instant, you are pinned to your seat with your head thrown back against the head rest. In the next ten seconds you realize that the screaming tires have caught enough traction to propel us hundreds of yards down the road as we head onto the open highway. Slapping from gear to gear, you hear the growl of the engine increase and decrease all the way up through all seven gears. Glancing over at the dashboard, you see the needle on the speedometer inching past 204, 205, 206…and I finally let off the accelerator allowing the car to slow down until we eventually stop.
As we get out of the car, you are gasping for breath as you kiss the pavement, glad to have survived one of the scariest moments of your life. Now, the moment of truth comes. I remind you that one minute earlier you laughed at me when I told you I had a Ferrari Enzo engine in this hoopty looking car, now the evidence had started to stack up. The acceleration, the 200 mph speeds, the growl of the engine, everything seemed to indicate that I was telling the truth. Popping the hood, I show you the engine emblazoned with the word Ferrari and the new bright red and black paint on it. Clearly, my claims were real.
This is what Jesus had done. He had come and demonstrated that His claims were undeniable. He truly was God. He had done everything that would prove that He was God. He demonstrated immense power over nature, healed the lame, cured the blind, and He had finally raised the dead. There was no denying that He was indeed God. He may not have looked like much, but the miracles were undeniable. However, there were those who refused to believe the evidence. It may have been hard to believe at first, just like me with a Ferrari engine in my Ford Escort, but after they had seen everything, there was no excuse for not believing. Then why didn’t everyone believe He was who He said He was? Why does John say, “they could not believe”? Why don’t people believe now that He is who He said He was?

Food For Thought: In today’s text, John quotes Isaiah 6:10. Who does John say has purposed for the unbelieving to remain in unbelief? What reasons were given for the silence of those who actually did believe?