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Sermon Notes + 10.1.2023




They Still Did Not Believe in Him
John 12:36-50
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: As Jesus concludes His public ministry, it is evident that people still refuse to believe in Him despite the numerous signs He has offered to validate His claims. John informs us that the rejection of Jesus was foretold in Scripture, thus establishing how God’s plan of salvation is still moving forward without being hindered. That such prophecy does not relieve people of the responsibility to believe is evidenced by the fact that some people do believe, and Jesus continues to call others to believe, also. Those who believe and those who are yet to believe are encouraged to set aside their preference for the glory of man and pursue instead the glory of God. By giving themselves fully to Jesus Christ, such people will know God, be delivered from darkness, be spared from the final judgment, and have eternal life.

01. The call to believe

02. The causes of unbelief

03. The consequences of unbelief

04. The call to believe (again)


1. What is the goal of John’s gospel according to John 20:30-31? How do the words and works of Jesus (also known as signs) direct us toward this goal? What signs performed by Jesus stand out to you as the most convincing proofs of His claim to be the Messiah?

2. According to John 21:24-25, Jesus did many other signs that are not written in John’s gospel. Why were these signs not included? What does John’s choice of signs to include suggest about the sufficiency of the evidence already provided? In other words, would the inclusion of additional miracles have changed anyone’s mind to believe in Jesus?

3. How does the prophecy of Isaiah (quoted in John 12:38) find its fulfillment at this stage in the ministry of Jesus? Even though it is negative, in terms of people rejecting Jesus, how can it also be seen as an encouragement for Jesus to continue to the cross? In what way can we take comfort from the same prophecy, knowing that people who reject the gospel are still not able to thwart God’s plan of redemption?

4. Does John 12:39-40 teach that people are unable to believe in Jesus because God does not want them to believe? How does this passage reveal both God’s judgment and human responsibility? Are we able to believe the gospel on our own, or do we need to have our eyes opened by God to believe? See John 1:13 and 6:44 for further insight.

5. Why does Jesus continue to call people to believe in Him even though many have already rejected Him? What are the consequences of unbelief, according to John 12:44-50? What are the blessings of belief? Is there anyone you have been praying for to believe in Jesus? How can you use this passage to encourage them to give their life to Christ?

For Further Reading: J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (InterVarsity Press, 2012)