Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 51

John 12:34-43
[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 heart; 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 spake 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.

Background Information
“Esaias” is the same as “Isaiah” in the Old Testament. The difference comes from the way the Greek and Hebrew forms are transliterated into English.
The difference between the quotations found in the New Testament and their Old Testament originals may also be due partly to the fact that some of the New Testament quotes are from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament. When these are translated into English, the differences in the Greek and Hebrew (Old Testament) wording show up. There are probably other reasons as well, such as indirect quotations.

The idea of God blinding the eyes of some people proves troublesome to many. In addition to the passages in Isaiah, the book of Romans deals with this question in chapters 10 and 11. The theological debate over whether God chooses to save some people and condemn others or whether He allows us to choose for ourselves is beyond the scope of this study. It should be noted, however, that God truly wants to save everyone (2 Peter 3:9). We also need to keep in mind that had the Jewish people not rejected Jesus while He was on earth, they would not have crucified Him. Then, the plan of salvation would be out of reach for us all. However we understand God’s role in their rejection, we must recognize that today He wants to save everybody, Jew and Gentile. Also, keep in mind that many Jews did come to believe in Jesus shortly after His death and resurrection (Acts 6:7).

Related Scriptures
Isaiah 6:10
Isaiah 53:1
1 John 1:6-7


  1. What had Jesus done that should have convinced people to believe in Him?

  2. What happened to those who refused to walk in “the light” of Jesus’ teachings?

  3. In what ways might the people of Jesus’ day have contributed to their own hard hearts?

  4. Verse 40 says their eyes were blinded and their heart hardened. Each person has two eyes and one heart. Is it possible that Jesus is referring to the collective “heart” of the nation rather than the hearts of individuals?

  5. Why didn’t the rulers who really believed in Jesus admit to it?

  6. In what ways are you tempted to love the praise of men more than the praise of God?

This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.