Jesus has given all the direct evidence He intends to, at least for now. He has shown the people enough proof to choke a horse, but they still won’t believe. Now it is time to withdraw until the final phase of God’s plan begins. I wonder who it was specifically that He “hid” from. The group that had been following Him, the general people, or the religious leaders? He wouldn’t stay hidden though. The end is in sight!
Isaiah prophesied about the people’s unbelief and how they would not hear or see the truth, even when it was right in front of them. He also prophesied as to why they wouldn’t hear or see. “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” (verse 40).
Israel HAD to reject Jesus in order for the Gentiles to be included. God didn’t do anything to them that was against their own nature. He simply picked the most opportune time in history to introduce Jesus. The religious leaders of that time were so intent on keeping the little power they had under Roman rule that they were determined that NOTHING, not even the Messiah, was going to take it away from them.
They had the people scared to go against them too. Those who proclaimed belief in Jesus were put out of the synagogue. Even leaders who believed in Him suffered the same fate. The synagogue was central to life in Jewish society and very few wanted to risk that punishment. No wonder the religious leaders were able to sway the whole crowd.
For the acceptance and praise of men, they rejected the Son of God; their eternal hope. I’m grateful they did. Many would believe after Jesus rose from the dead, but even today SO MANY still choose the glory of the world over God’s glory. They want to fit in with the world. As Satan is the king of this world we know where that desire brings them. Eternal death.
Father God, thank You for making sure that Jesus would be rejected so He could include the rest of us too. I’m sorry for how He was treated by His own people. I wish there had been some other way. Which side of the story would I have been standing on if I had actually walked those dusty streets back then? I pray it would be on the side of the believers. But I know my failings too. Forgive me for every time I chose to stay quiet instead of stand up for You. Forgive me for trying to fit into this fallen world’s way of doing things. Forgive me for the examples I set before my children when I chose “man’s glory” over Yours. Please help me follow YOUR plan for my life, where ever it may lead. (And whatever size it takes me in. You know my struggle here Lord.)