WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 4, 2021
TOPIC: WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?
BY T. O. BANSO
“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (John 12:37-38 New King James Version).
Jesus was a man highly anointed by God; He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil because God was with Him (Acts 10:38). The Bible says He taught as one that had real authority (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22). Despite this, not everybody responded favourably to His teachings.
John 12:37-38 says, “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (New King James Version).
In light of this scripture, those who’re thinking that if they could do one-third of the miracles Jesus did, they would be able to command people’s faith in them can see the futility of such thought. But in John 12:42, there is a positive narrative although with a negative remark. “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue” (John 12:42 New King James Version).
In the days of Jesus Christ, some people didn’t believe in Him or His message and some did. Not everybody believed Jesus the Son of God whom God publicly endorsed by doing wonderful miracles, wonders, and signs through Him (Acts 2:22). Not everyone will respond positively to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. While some will believe, others won’t believe. Preachers must not be discouraged by this.
Isaiah 53:1 says, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (New King James Version). Jesus quoted this scripture in John 12:38. Who believed Jesus’ report? I’ll like to analyze Jesus’ audience, especially with regard to their responses to His teachings.
1. Those who did not believe in Jesus. Those who fall into this category were mostly religious leaders. In John 7:48, the Pharisees asked, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?” (New King James Version).
Aside from the religious leaders, other people listened to Him but didn’t believe in Him. The Bible says, “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him” (John 12:37 New King James Version). Even His brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5).
Those who didn’t believe in Him only fulfilled the Scripture in Isaiah 53:1-3 which says, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” (New King James Version).
Also, Matthew 13:14-15 refers to Isaiah’s prophecy that hearing the people would hear but not understand, and seeing they would see but not perceive because their hearts had grown dull. Quoting Isaiah 53:1, the apostle Paul said, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘LORD, who has believed our report?’” (Romans 10:16 New King James Version).
Romans 10:14 asks that how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? But these people did not hear about Jesus, they heard from Jesus. Unfortunately, despite that, they didn’t believe in Him. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29 New King James Version).
By not believing in Jesus, these people set themselves against God. If you read the next verse (verse 30) and compare it to John 12:37, you’ll see that seeing miraculous signs does not mean one will believe in Jesus.
In John 6:30 the people demanded that Jesus show them a miraculous sign if He wanted them to believe in Him. But we read John 12:37 that although had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him.
Jesus said, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew. 11:21-24 New King James Version). Luke 10:13-15 says a similar thing.
Mark 6:5 says that Jesus could not do any mighty work in Nazareth except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief and went about the villages in a circuit, teaching (verse 6).
2. Those who believed in Him but failed to admit it because of fear of being excommunicated from the synagogue by the religious leaders (John 9:22). They preferred the praise of men to the praise of God (John 12:42-43; 5:41-44).
John 7:13 says no one had the courage to speak favourably about Jesus in public for fear of being in trouble with the Jewish leaders. Jesus said we should not be afraid of them that kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather He that is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5). He said we shouldn’t be ashamed of him and his word (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Matthew 10:33).
3. Those who believed in Him but turned away (John 6:66). Why did these disciples turn away and desert Him? Because of His teaching that except they ate His flesh and drink His blood, they wouldn’t have eternal life (verses 32-65). Demas forsook Paul having loved this present world (2 Timothy 4:10).
4. Those who believed in him and remained steadfast (John 2:11; 4:39; 6:68; 8:30; 7:31). “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31 King James Version). He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22b; 24:13; Mark 13:13b).
Those who believe in Jesus and remain steadfast are those who hear the word and understand it and bear fruits, producing some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:18-23). “Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 New Living Translation).
Do you believe His report? He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that they will believe in Him. Let not the fear of men hinder them from believing in Him. Let them not love the praise of men instead of the praise of God. Those who believe, Holy Spirit, let them not turn away. Everyone who surrenders his life to Jesus shall endure to the end in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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