Hello friend, and welcome to Hope for Today. The program you’re listening to is produced by Heralds of Hope. We’re an international Gospel media ministry. Each week our Bible teaching broadcasts circle the globe in English and 22 other major languages. Tens of thousands tune in each week for spiritual nourishment and blessing.
But radio ministry is just one part of what we do at Heralds of Hope. We also distribute Bibles and literature. And our newest publication is called Hope Herald. It’s a study guide designed to complement the teaching you’ll hear on this broadcast. We would be happy to send a copy of this study guide to you if you just write and ask for it. Stay tuned and I will give you the contact information at the end of the program.
Now, here’s Pastor J. Mark with today’s teaching.
In wisdom, God made us so we can think. Our minds are wonderful machines. We can store many different ideas in our minds. We are told there is no limit to what we can learn if we set our will to learn it.
Our minds are so made that we can receive or reject an idea. The reason is our wills control our minds. Because of this fact, we should carefully examine every idea or thought to make sure it is true before we accept it to store in our minds.
When we are examining an idea, we often ask questions in order to evaluate it. That is a good way to make sure of the truth of what we are considering.
I want to discuss JESUS – THE SON OF MAN. People in Jesus’ day often had questions about Him. They knew what Moses had written. They understood the Bible. But their teachers had given them additional teaching which didn’t always correspond with what Jesus was doing or teaching. This raised doubts like men have today. They really many times wanted to know. But those doubts were serious barriers.
John 12:34-43 gives some insights about recognizing Jesus.
34. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
35. Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
37. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38. That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39. Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40. He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.
42. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
From our text, I wish to expose several BARRIERS which often keep people from seeing Jesus – the Son of Man.
The first Barrier: The Darkness of Mind.
Didn’t you hear Jesus say, “Walk while you have the light, because when you are in the darkness you cannot see?” There’s a real danger in the darkness of the mind. It keeps us from seeing the relations of truth. It is very depressing. And it is very confining.
But Jesus spoke about light. Light shows the way. Jesus urged, “Walk while you have the light.” He said, “I am the light of the world. He that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” Where there is light, darkness is dispelled. It is driven away.
But I want you to feel what Jesus was talking about in the darkness of the mind. When men are compassed by their own willful ignorance, the darkness of the mind is most oppressing and most distressing. Jesus calls our attention to that barrier of seeing Jesus as the Son of Man.
Now, don’t let the darkness of your mind keep you from seeing Jesus as He truly is.
The second Barrier: The Blindness of the Heart.
The evidence was clearly there. He had done many miracles. But even though He had done many miracles, they did not believe on Him. The evidence was there. They had seen His miracles. They had heard His teachings. But they refused to believe, and that refusal led to terrible blindness.
The Prophet Isaiah spoke of this as Jesus quoted from Him. He said, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” It had been revealed. They did see it. They knew that Jesus had performed more miracles than anybody else had. But they refused to believe. That is what I have called blindness of the heart. And it is an awful blindness. When there is sight, truth can be perceived. But when there is blindness, truth cannot be perceived.
Don’t let blindness of the heart keep you away from Jesus. The evidence is there. He performed the miracles. Now, open your eyes and see. Don’t let the blindness of the heart keep you from Jesus.
There is a third Barrier: The Praise of Men.
That pressure is very hard. It comes upon people and moves them to improper action. Just to be well received by those around us is often a very serious barrier. It was so in this case. Many believed, we are told. But they would not confess Him because they loved the praise of men more than they loved the praise of God.
Yes, this is a solid barrier, even today. It will stop you and turn you aside just because you want the acceptance of your neighbors, your friends, people in high places. You too, are not willing to confess Him because you love the praise of men more than the praise of God. Where concern is found, proper action will follow. So I appeal to you, do not let the praise of men keep you from Jesus.
These barriers need not keep you from seeing Jesus as the Son of Man. But they are serious barriers: the darkness of the mind; the blindness of the heart; and the praise of men.
In their place, you can have light so you can see where you are going. You can have sight so you can understand the truth. You can have the joy of knowing that you belong to Jesus. He is the Son of Man. Why not come to Him now?
My friend, the invitation that Jesus gave to people to know Him when He was here on earth is still valid. It’s an invitation that doesn’t go out of date.
However, I must tell you, this invitation won’t last forever. It will end at one of two points; either at your death or at the time when Jesus returns for His Bride, the Church. And no one knows when either of those events could happen.
You and I have no promise that we will live to see tomorrow. So many things in our world can happen to snatch away our physical life. A couple years ago my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and we didn’t know how that would affect the length of her life. We are grateful to God that her cancer is in remission, but many people lose their lives to this dreaded disease.
And Jesus Himself told us in the Bible that He doesn’t even know when He will be coming for the Church. And when He returns, it will happen suddenly, without a lot of warning. That means you better prepare now, while you have the time.
Many a person has said, “Oh, I’ll accept Jesus’ offer of salvation, but I’m not ready yet. Maybe later.” But later never came for them. Either their life ended suddenly and tragically, and they had no chance, or they hardened their heart against the working of the Holy Spirit.
You see, if you think you can decide to follow Jesus when you want to, you’re missing an important factor. Jesus said in John 6:44, “No man can come to me unless the Father, who has sent Me, draws him.” In other words, if you reject the call of God or the drawing of the Holy Spirit when it comes, He may, at some point stop calling. When that happens, it’s too late. And you will be lost for all eternity. That is a terrible fate Jesus doesn’t want you to experience, and neither do I. So, please, accept His offer of salvation today.
Perhaps you’re considering coming to Jesus, but you have some questions about Him. If you contact us with those questions, we would be happy to answer them from the Bible, God’s Holy Word. So, listen carefully now as Arlin gives you a variety of ways you can contact us.
My friend, was this teaching helpful? If you’d like a copy, either in print or a digital file, just contact us and ask for it by the title. Or log onto our website heraldsofhope.org.
The quickest way for you to connect with us is to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. That e-mail address is email@example.com. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember, you can request a printed manuscript or a digital file of this teaching. We’d be happy to send one to you.
And when you contact us, you can request our Bible Study Guide, Hope Herald. It follows these radio programs and will help you learn more about what we’re studying from John’s Gospel. So, ask for your free copy of Hope Herald today.
Here’s the contact information again. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember; you can request a free copy of this teaching. It’s available in print or a digital file. And you can also request a free copy of our newest publication, Hope Herald. It will help you gain more value from our study in John.
And don’t forget our Bible teaching programs are available to you all the time and any time at the website, heraldsofhope.org.
Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Pastor J. Mark continues our study from John’s Gospel. You won’t want to miss it. And until then, keep looking to Jesus, He’s our hope for today and for every day!
This series by Dr. J. Otis Yoder has been re-recorded by J. Mark Horst.