During the last week of Jesus’ ministry, many people were still trying to figure out who Jesus was. Eugene Peterson paraphrases John 12:37-43 this way:
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.
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
There were those who couldn’t see who was right in front of them. There were those who saw, but were afraid of what people might think if they followed him.
It’s the same today: there are still people like this in our world. For some, we pray that God will open their eyes that they might truly see. For others, we need to pray that they find the courage to take the step of faith and acknowledge Jesus. Part of our prayer life is praying that people will come to know Jesus. Who are you praying for this week?