In these final verses of John 12 we get into some deep theological thoughts. If faith is a gift, then does everyone receive the gift? If God is in control of everything then why doesn’t everyone come to faith? Doesn’t God want everyone in heaven and if He has the power to ordain that, then why would there be a hell?
Instead of going into the weeds of that discussion, I think a major answer to all of this is found in John 12:37 when it says that “some would not believe.” Notice it does not say “did not believe” or “could not believe”, it says they “would” not believe. They started with the decision not to believe. God, in love, gives them this choice and they choose not to believe. Without choice, we would be robots or slaves. For God to not honor our choice would be the same as if there were not to be a choice at all.
As we saw earlier in the week in the verse from Isaiah, the proper and logical response to coming into the presence of the holy perfect creator God is to immediately recognize the undoing within ourselves and to see our own sin. Think about this in any other context, it would be sheer lunacy to come into the presence of such a supreme being and not recognize our own inadequacy.
But, coming face-to-face with God is not faith. Faith is an unseen quality. It is a step, not a push.
For those who “would not believe” to have been forced then to see, in full light, the works of Jesus and the full meaning of the actions of the Lord as the Son of God and Son of Man, would have been to force them to do something they had chosen not to do. That would not be faith, but nor would it have been free will. In grace, God allows their eyes to be blind and their hearts calloused to honor the choice they choose to make.
Some would not believe. It isn’t that they could not believe, but they would not. As a result of their “faith” decision, they were blinded to the full magnitude of the signs because no one could have looked fully at the signs and miracles and not seen that Jesus was the Son of God. Some recognized the signs, but in fear or pride or for other reasons chose not to acknowledge what they were believing in their heart but, instead, wanting to hold on to old ways. They will be judged @end
Isaiah sees the throne room of God and receives the same message that Jesus provides. Because they refused to bend their hearts to the Lord, it has been turned calloused and they will be unable to see the signs that would result in them falling on their face in awe and wonder of the living God, just as Isaiah did.
I look for clues and hints of the belief of one I’m talking to and I’m more open and direct with fellow believers. To those who have a calloused heart and closed mind, I do not press them but am respectful. I don’t know that respect is the right response and if that is being kind to them or harmful to them.