Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some People Just Don't Get It

Sometimes I am amazed as I read God's Word, the Bible. Well, truthfully, I am always amazed when I read the Bible, but I have one particular type of passage in mind that really amazes me. The passages to which I make reference are those passages of Scripture that reveal the stubborn dullness of those who saw Jesus heal and heard Him teach, yet still did not get it.

Luke chapter 11 is one such passage. In Luke 11 delivers a demon-possessed man, but there were those who attributed Jesus' power to the devil (verses 14-15). There were still others who, after they witnessed Jesus deliver the demon-possessed man, asked Jesus for a sign (verse 16). I mean, give a break. Can you imagine what it was like when Jesus delivered this man from the powers of darkness, powers that held him in bondage. Then someone was watching all of this with their arms folded, yawning, and examining their finger nails. Everyone is rejoicing at this great miracle, and this hardhearted person nonchalantly walks over to Jesus and says, "Hey, Mr. Big Shot Rabbi, why don't you show us a real sign of Your divinity?" Huh?! That question doesn't even deserve an answer. Then a woman shouts out, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed (verse 27)." But Jesus (I wish I knew the tone of voice with which He spoke this next line) said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and observe it." Some people have a hard time understanding the real issue. Evidently the crowd clamored for a sign, because Jesus starts admonishing them for wanting a sign (verse 29), and He points them to only one sign - the sign of His resurrection (verse 29). And Jesus gets really exhortative when He says the Queen of Sheba acknowledged Solomon and the Ninevites acknowledged the preaching of Jonah, but Jesus is greater than both of them. But the people refused to acknowledge Him (verses 30-32). Jesus has lunch with a Pharisee, but the Pharisee is more concerned with pre-meal ceremony than what matters most (verses 37-41) (good grief!). The Pharisees made their religion a show instead of a matter of the heart (verses 42-44), and the lawyers were offended (Oh my goodness; today Jesus would have been sued! Verses 45-46). But Jesus warns them that they belong to the "Let's Kill the Prophets Club (verses 47-52)." And the chapter ends with the text referencing the hostility of the Pharisees and scribes resulting in a plan to kill Jesus. THEY MISSED THE WHOLE POINT!

The human heart is so hard, so sinful, so depraved that unless God opens the heart by grace, it will never understand the truth. The sinful eyes are so blind that unless God by grace causes the sinner to see, he will never discern truth.

This is why we pray for the lost. This is why we beseech God's mercy on sinners. Unless God illumines them, they will never see. Unless God softens their hearts, they will remain rebellious.

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