Blinded Eyes and Hardened Hearts

John 12:37-40 WEB

But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him, [38] that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” [39] For this cause they couldn’t believe, for Isaiah said again, [40] “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them.”


How can we be responsible for God blinding our eyes and hardening our hearts? This is the very thing Paul addressed in chapter 7 of Romans. It brings new meaning to the idea of being saved by grace. We are saved by grace but are rewarded for our choices. Those who seek the Lord with humility will find him. The Word says that the one who has some will be given more and the one who has little will lose even what they have (Mat 25:15-28). This gives us insight into how to respond to this passage.

If we seek God, he will soften our hearts and open our eyes to be able to see him. Seeking God is easy. It is reading the Bible, praying, and attending public worship. We can also seek God with our behavior. On the other hand, we can also push God away with our behaviors. If we deliberately sin God will harden our hearts so that we continue to sin. Of course, if we deliberately walk in righteousness the Lord will soften our hearts so we walk in more righteousness.

The Lord is righteous. He does not cast anyone away from himself who walks in righteousness and holiness. The Word says those he foreknew he predestined to be sons of God (Rom 8:29). It is not that God is fickle. It is that God knows the future. God knows who will choose him and who will not. Of those that choose him, he creates opportunities for success. For those who are never going to choose him, he gives over to sin and unrighteousness. The primary thing we can do to ensure that God continues to open our eyes is to seek God and walk in righteousness.


Lord, please open my eyes so I can see you and understand your will. Soften my heart so I recognize sin in myself and give me the chance to repent. I long to be both saved and to have a vibrant relationship with you, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Conservative Jesus

John 10:34-36 WEB

Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’ [35] If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can’t be broken), [36] do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’


That phrase, “and scripture can’t be broken,” is intriguing. Why did Jesus include this? He is talking to Pharisees, men who are experts in Scripture. But Pharisees were also experts in the Talmud. The Talmud was a book of approximately 400 rules which, at times, contradicted the Scripture. This is the error Jesus is addressing in these verses.

Including “and scripture can’t be broken” Is also interesting because Jesus does not appear concerned about modernizing the Scripture. He is Conservative. He takes the Scripture as fully divine and to be obeyed in heart first. This was a radical idea but with a very conservative approach on Jesus’ part. Jesus is speaking to the conservatives of the times, and yet, he had many rebukes for their wrong heart issues.

And there is a heart issue here. The Pharisees have grown cold towards God. They have become orthodox instead of conservative. They have come up with a book to explain the scripture. That book, the Talmud, was given greater authority by the Pharisees than they gave the Scripture. The Talmud was a cruel taskmaster. Worse, any Jewish person caught breaking the Talmud would be kicked out of the sanctuary. So, a scripture obeying Jew could be barred from the temple because of a contradiction in the Talmud.


Lord, help me discern false teachings. Help me always place the authority of the Bible above and help me live its message of love and obedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Eating what Jesus Eats

John 4:34-35 WEB

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. [35] Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already.


Jesus’ food is to obey His master, the Father. Likewise, our food should be to obey our Master, Jesus Christ. In Mark 16:15-16 WEB the Bible says, “He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. [16] He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.” Telling everyone the good news, that Jesus paid all the price there will ever be and that all people can be saved by simply trusting Christ, is our command from the Lord.

There are other commands from Jesus as well. In fact, The Beatitudes are full of his direct teachings. In Chapter 5 of Matthew, we are taught to be meek, gentle, patient, and willing to suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness. Chapter 5 also calls believers to account for their thought life. In chapter 6 we are taught that purposely doing good deeds so that others see is evil. Moreover, we are taught in chapter 6 to forgive others, or we will not receive forgiveness, and not to worry about money or anything else. This is because we cannot have anxiety and trust in Jesus at the same time. Moving on to chapter 7 Christ declares the point that if you do not obey him, he does not know you and if you do not confess Him before people, He will not confess you before the Father.

What feeds your spirit? If your spiritual food is to have your own way and achieve your own goals, then you are not feeding on the same food as Jesus. Our food, according to Mark and Matthew should be to obey Jesus. Furthermore, our food should be too focus on the righteousness of the heart and to fulfill the great command. We are to bring the lost into the Kingdom. Some will try to say that the great commission in Mark was added after the original writing. That should not deter us. God allowed it to come into the final collection of works in the HOLY BIBLE and we will honor it if we honor God. People who rail against these verses claiming either they are culturally irrelevant or wrongfully included in the Bible, should not hinder us from eating wholesome spiritual food. Namely, obedience to Christ as the Bible teaches.

Obedience to Christ is a critical matter for believers to accomplish. Learning how to trust Christ for victories is part of the journey. However, the willingness of heart to obey Christ and to be spiritually fed on his every command is the principal matter for each believer.


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not being attentive to your commands. I repent Lord and I ask you to help me learn your commands so that I can obey you more fully. It is my heart’s desire to be obedient Lord. Please lead me into victory. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Encouragement and Discipline

John 4:15-18 WEB

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.” [16] Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” [17] The woman answered, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ [18] for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”


The Lord had just told the woman at the well he could give her living water so she would never thirst again (John 4:14). Now, as soon as she asks for this living water, Jesus changes the subject. Jesus knows before she can receive living water, she needs to repent of her sin (1 Corinthians 4:14). The Lord will not ask the Father to give her what she cannot contain (John 14:10). Now, at this point in her exchange with the Lord, her life is filthy with blatant sin. Yet she loves God and has declared her beliefs boldly to the Lord. I can imagine that Jesus felt a great love for this sinner. So, he goes directly to the problem as it was revealed to him by the Father. He asks her about her sin (Matthew 11:27).

Jesus opens the door for her to repent and be healed (Mark 2:17). He does not bless the woman at the well in her sin, neither does he bless modern-day seekers if they stubbornly refuse to repent. Even so, the Lord will help you grow. He will reward your good choices and ignore your wrong choices for a little while. The covering of grace is enormous in the beginning. However, in time, he begins to both reward good behavior and bring discipline for wrong behavior (Hebrews 12:7).

At some point, the grace to remain in sin evaporates and each of us must make a mature decision to be obedient to the Lord. Jesus’ desire for us is to repent and be blessed. If we do not repent, he will let our hearts grow cold and indifferent (John 12:40, Acts 28:7).  Just like the Samaritan woman at the well, we all have sinned (Romans 3:23). The question is when Christ reveals to us our wrong behaviors and attitudes, will we stubbornly continue sinning or will we repent?


Lord Jesus, thank you for both encouragement and discipline. Please forgive me for stubbornly refusing to repent of sin. I trust you Jesus and I believe your grace is sufficient to see me through to obedience. I choose to repent now. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Trusting Like Jesus

John 2:23-25 WEB

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. [24] But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, [25] and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

Have you ever been hurt because you thought another believer was trustworthy based on their faith in God? According to scripture, this is wrong. Jesus did not trust anyone. That is so much different from what popular psychology teaches. How often do people get counseled that they just need to trust someone? Or, accused that they do not trust anyone? When in truth, we should only fully trust God. The text scripture links this type of belief to the miraculous. It even goes so far as to link the ideas together with the salvation of others. Trusting God alone is a big idea. But ideas do not save us. Believing God is what saves us and that is revealed through our choices and actions. What do you truly have faith in? You can measure your trust in God by evaluating your trust in people. This, of course, does not account for disbelief. However, for a believer, this is a good measuring stick. Are you looking for people to save you? Have you partnered with the lie that your promotion will come through your relationships? If so, then you are trusting people and are in disobedience to God’s word. Jesus is said to be “perfect theology” so if He did it, we should also. Jesus trusted God alone and that faith took him to the place of miracles, and it took him to the place of the cross. Those two things both worked for the salvation of mankind.

Lord Jesus, please help me trust in You alone. Please reveal to me what I am trusting in so that I can adjust and more fully trust You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.