Nestled in the pages of John’s Gospel are these words: John 12:37 (NLT) – “But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him.” My first reaction is “Are you serious?” Sadly, John’s answer would affirm his written testimony. What a sad commentary on the people of Jesus’ day. If His teachings alone could not convince them, surely His miracles would seal the deal. Nope!
Earlier in the same chapter, we read about Jesus arriving at Lazarus’ home for dinner. Do you remember Lazarus and the miracle Jesus performed of raising him from the dead? Look what it says in John 12:9-11 (NLT) – “When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him [Lazarus] that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.”
Just in this chapter, we see “many” believing in Jesus, but “most” not believing. We look around the world today and that same thing can be said about our world … “many” believe, but “most” do not believe. We might become discouraged! We might even feel like we are losing.
Let me share one more verse with you … 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of returning], as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.”
Sometimes as a pastor I look around and think “am I doing ANYTHING that will eternally impact God’s kingdom?” If I measure success by the numbers, I can certainly lose heart. Jesus desires that ALL people come to Him to trust Him as Savior and Lord. No matter how discouraged we might become, we should never stop striving to help lost people to believe in Him.
So we, (you and I) roll up our sleeves and we keep pressing on in doing what He wants us to do … so that we can see more and more come to Him.