Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 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?”
For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. John 12:37-41
It’s interesting to know that even those who walked with Jesus physically still didn’t believe. Their minds and hearts had been hardened.
As students of the Bible we focus on what troubles us. In this passage for most people it’s the phrase “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts” but I think we’re missing the point of the passage. Yes it is important to discuss what that passage meant, but the more important aspect of this passages is this: The people walking with Jesus and through their unbelief were fulfilling prophecy even as they walked and talked! They were “ever seeing” and “ever hearing” but had closed their ears and eyes.
Incidentally, a slightly different translation of that same passage may make a little more sense.
Isaiah 6:10 Hebrew; Septuagint is translated:
You will be ever hearing, but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
This people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
In a broader sense, we as Believers are fulfilling a different portion of Scripture, that of “going into all the world.” In many parts of the world even today, the message of the Gospel is a viral one. Think of it. The “Church” started in the Middle East more than 2000 years ago. It spread to hearts in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America and back to the Middle East. For 99% of that time, there was no internet, no YouTube, Google, or Facebook. In only 5% of that time has there been fast international transportation, and in about 10-15% of that time has there even been the telephone!
The Church in 2013 around the world is On the Move. Churches are continuing to be planted in the most dangerous places in the World. And still the Church flourishes.
When you read reports of the Church outside your country, stop and pray. Most of the time the news is of persecution but sometimes, the news is about phenomenal church growth.