When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”” (John 12:36–38, ESV)
John writes here one of the saddest statements in his gospel. Remember that John 12 is a transition chapter. In John 1-11, our intrepid writer has proclaimed both Christ’s signs (7 of them) and his words. It should be enough for the Jews who heard and knew Christ to believe in him. He changed water into wine; he healed a man blind from birth; he raised Lazarus from the dead, but…
Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him.
Here’s the thing, they had not only Christ’s signs and words, but they had Isaiah’s words also. Isaiah the prophet. The one that they said they believed. John tells us that Isaiah saw his glory and spoke of him. Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus. He wrote about the glory of Jesus. So the people had not only Jesus’ signs and words, but they had Isaiah’s words. They had everything they needed…but they did not believe in Jesus, indeed, they could not believe in Jesus (vs. 39).
This is a stinging indictment, a painful indictment. The people had everything they needed to believe, some did believe, most did not. They should have known. They had Jesus’ words. They’d witnessed Jesus’ signs. They knew what Isaiah had said…but they did not believe.
You have, dear reader, John’s witness to Christ, you have Jesus’ words, you have Isaiah’s words. You need to be changed, but it’s a work that only Jesus can do.