The truth in your heart — Have you accepted the truth in your heart (spirit)?  The truth that I am speaking of is not some subjective/opinionated truth present in our society.  No, the truth I am asking you of today is God, His only begotten SonJesus proclaimed to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Have you accepted Christ in your heart?

This time of year is the time in which we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  As I tell you all every year, this time of the year is absolutely my favorite time of the year.  Long gone are the days where I was the kid that looked forward to the gifts that I believed were owed to me.  

Replaced, now with my feeling about the spirit of the day in which we rejoice in our souls, the triumph that came through the birth of Christ.  So, I put my Christmas lights, garland, and wreaths out with the joy of that spirit awake in my soul.  Then, I take a look around and wonder why so many don’t feel the same as I do this time of year?  It seems that few of us have the same joy of the spirit awake in our soul.  So, why is the joy of the spirit that is alive and well in my heart so dead in many other hearts today?

Not Accepting God’s Report

In John 12:37-41, we see the apostle John speaking of those who witnessed the signs that Jesus had done before them, yet they still did not believe in (accept) Him.  John quotes Isaiah 53, a chapter where Isaiah prophesied about the suffering servant, and he asked, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

I believe that this section of scripture, and this question, is very timely for this time of year.  The report that Isaiah spoke of and prophesied about was of a servant that would come to the world (be born) and bear the griefs of mankind, carry the sorrows of mankind, be wounded for the transgressions of mankind, and then buried for the iniquities of mankind (Is. 53:4-5).  John quotes this question because the report is about Jesus Christ, I believe he wonders to himself, who has believed the report of Jesus Christ?

Jesus, the enigma

The fact of the matter is that many people find it hard to believe the report of Christ because Jesus is an enigma.  An enigma is something that is hard to understand or explain, or a mysterious person.  As prophesied in Isaiah, and quoted by Peter, Jesus would be as a sanctuary (precious) to some, while at the same time He would be a “stone of stumbling” to others (Is. 8:14; 1 Pet. 2:7-8).

Jesus truly is a stone of stumbling to many people.  Let me show you what I mean by this.  Jesus’ birth is a stone of stumbling for many people as they struggle with the idea of Him being born a virgin’s birth.  For this same reason, many people find Him to be a stone of stumbling because they can’t understand how He is God, in the flesh.  Then, we can add to this that many people find God dying on a cross to be a stone of stumbling and so, because they cannot accept that happening, the resurrection of Christ is also a stone of stumbling.

To remove this stone of stumbling, many suggest that they could believe in Him if they could have seen Him.  They say that if they could have seen Him perform the miracles, then they would truly believe in Him.  Those who cannot believe in Him will suggest if only they could have heard Jesus teach and preach, they would believe in Him.  If only they could have been there then they would have ‘faith’ by sight.  The question is:  Is it truly faith if it is by sight?

“Faith” by Sight

The writer of Hebrews said that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).

Many saw but did not believe  

I believe that one of the most fascinating things that is repeatedly shown to us in scripture is how many people were eyewitnesses to the signs and wonders of God, but still could not believe.  We see John point this out when he wrote in our key verse for today’s sermon, “He (Jesus) had done so many signs before them (the Jews), they did not believe in Him.”

37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:  “Lord, who has believed our report?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”


Now, consider that statement for just a moment.  Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11).  Jesus fed a great multitude with a couple pieces of fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:1-14).  Jesus, on multiple occasions, healed the sick, made the lame be able to walk, and also made the blind be able to see.  In all these things that many people witnessed with their own eyes, those that truly followed Him, in their hearts believed.  Yet, there was still an even larger multitude that chose not to believe.

In Egypt, the children of Israel witnessed with their eyes all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh and all of the Egyptians.  The children of Israel witnessed how the Lord parted the Red Sea and they crossed on dry ground away from Pharaoh.  Yet, when they got to Mount Sinai, some chose to worship and sacrifice to a god crafted and fashioned by their hands (Ex. 32:8).

So, one should ask, why did so many eyewitnesses to all of these signs and wonders of God throughout scripture still choose not to believe?  The answer to this question is one I believe should be pondered.  Now, the answer to this question certainly had nothing to do with their physical sight – they saw the miracles and were there for His teachings.  So, why did they not believe?

What is in your heart

The truth of this matter goes back to what the writer of Hebrews said about faith.  Faith, again, is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  As you have heard me say before, faith is born in our hearts.  You see, what you accept as the truth in your heart, is what you will believe and have faith in.

So, what I want you to understand is that those who could see all that Jesus did and still did not believe, chose not to believe because of their heart.  I believe the best example that shows this to have been the case is that those who were literally blind and could not see anything Jesus did, still came to Him in the faith that He could heal them (Matt. 9:27-31)!

What I find most fascinating about many of those that could literally see all that Jesus did, were often left wondering how He did all that He did.  Some accused Jesus of being of Beelzebub, the ruler of demons (Matt. 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15).  Then, others would ask Jesus questions, to only dislike and reject the answers He would give them.  Again, this was done because of what was already in their hearts.

In John 6, the apostle records an occasion where the people asked Jesus what God required of them (John 6:28).  Jesus told the people that all that the Lord required of them was to believe (have faith) in Him (this being Jesus) whom the Lord had sent (John 6:29).  Jesus said to the people to eat of the bread of life, this being Him, and they would never go hungry again (John 6:35).  

I want you to understand that Jesus was speaking spiritually and was telling the people to consume all of His teachings, and all that He did so that it would become a part of what was in their hearts.  You too should consume all of Jesus’ teachings, and all that He did so that it becomes a part of the truth in your heart.

Blind in the heart

After hearing Jesus’ answer, we will see in this passage of scripture that the people began to quarrel among themselves (John 6:52).  They began to dispute what Jesus had said to them because of the mindset that was in their heart.  You see, there was already another truth that was in their hearts that they were fully convicted of and they were unable to turn from this conviction.

They ask, with a worldly mindset, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”  Because the worldly mindset was the truth that was in their hearts, they could not understand Jesus’ truth.  As Paul said to the Corinthians, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).”

Because the Spirit of God was not in their hearts, they went blind, spiritually, to the truth.  So, they could not understand nor could they accept Jesus in their hearts.  I feel I must ask, are you blind to the truth of the Lord today because of the ‘truth’ already present in your heart?  Those who were already convicted of another truth in their hearts, and had followed Jesus at that time, turned from Him and followed no more (John 6:66).  As Isaiah prophesied, they did not believe the report.

Hardened in the heart

If you think that you would have believed in Christ if you could have only seen His miracles, think again.  People that lived during those days went blind to Christ because they were blinded in their hearts.  John tells us plainly that the people’s hearts had been hardened against believing the report – that is to say that their hearts were blinded from accepting the truth in their hearts.

John, again, quoted prophecy from the book of Isaiah, when Isaiah said, “He (God) has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts (Is. 6:9-10).”  Someone might ask, what does it mean that God had blinded and hardened their hearts?  Did God do these things on purpose so that they could not believe in Him?  Absolutely not.

To understand what Isaiah prophesied and why John quoted Isaiah’s prophecy, we must first understand the free will that God has given to all of us.  Mankind has been given free will by the Lord to choose the things that we want to do, and to choose what we will believe.  By free will, the people of Jesus’ day could choose to accept Him or reject Him.  By free will, the people that the apostles ministered to could choose whether or not they would accept the report or reject the report of Christ.  

In our day, you can choose to accept (believe) the report of Christ or reject this truth in your heart instead of coming up with excuses as to why we do not believe.

We must understand that those who choose to fully reject the truth have done this of their own doing and not by the Lord.  Those that saw all the signs and wonders of Christ but chose not to believe, they hardened their own hearts; it was not God’s doing.  When people harden their hearts in rejecting the Lord, Paul wrote that God will allow them to fully fall into a debased (reprobate) mind (Rom. 1:28).  So, in other words, the Lord truly allows us to do and believe what we desire; He gives us all free will.  

Open Revelation to Accept

Understand this:  God does not make/force us to come to Him!  The Lord is not going to snap His fingers and make us follow Him like we are zombies!  The Lord is not going to snap His fingers and make you accept the truth in your heart.  God desires for you to choose to accept His truth in your heart.

Has not hidden Himself from us

The reason why the Lord gives us this choice to make in our own hearts is because He believes He’s done and shown us everything we need to be able to make the decision for ourselves.  There are several people who believe in their hearts that the Lord has hidden Himself from mankind.  I want you to understand that God has not hidden Himself from anybody.  In fact, I would tell you that the Lord is very open when it comes to revealing Himself to mankind.

Recorded in Luke 10:22 is a moment where Jesus is rejoicing in the Spirit and makes a statement of the Lord that echoes this point.  While He was rejoicing in the Spirit, Jesus said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father.”  All things being delivered to Christ was shown clearly after His resurrection when Jesus proclaimed that all authority had been given to Him (Matt. 28:18). 

Then, in that same rejoice, Jesus stated, “no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”  Now, at first glance, it may seem that the Lord has been revealed to only an exclusive group of people.  At a point in time, this certainly was the case as God had revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (later called Israel).  

As I mentioned earlier, the Lord, we know, was revealed to the children of Israel openly through Moses, through all of the other prophets of Old Testament times, and through many signs and wonders as well.  Then, at the appointed time, the Lord further revealed Himself openly when He gave the world His only begotten Son (John 3:16).  Again, Jesus revealed the Lord to the Jews, but at the same time, there were many gentiles who were eyewitnesses to His works and messages and they even believed!

Easily discernible to those of the Spirit

I say this to point out that Jesus, on behalf of the Lord, willed that every single man, woman, boy, and girl would know the Lord!  God works openly and He does so in a manner that is easily discernible to those who are of the Spirit – have accepted the truth in their hearts.  To those who are not of the Spirit, the way that the Lord works and reveals Himself appears to be foolish; foolish because the Spirit is not in their hearts.  As Paul said to the Corinthians, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).”

As scripture states, when we worship the Lord, we worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23). In other words, our faith must also be a faith that is in spirit and truth.

There are truly many wise and very brilliant people in our world today who view God and accepting His truth in your heart to be total nonsense.  They feel that it is absolute foolishness because the so-called truth that is in their hearts has made them ignorant of the Lord; they are ignorant of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the works of God.  Such an ignorant, blind, and hardened heart is sadly a heart (soul) that is dead.  

As dire as this sounds, I share with you today that there is a way for this dead spirit to be given life.  Paul said to the Corinthians, “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise (1 Cor. 3:18).”  So, you must be willing to open your heart to seeing the truth of Christ in order to accept this truth in your heart!

When we accept this truth in our hearts, Jesus said that we will be given life.  To the Jews, Jesus said, “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will (John 5:21).”  After many of those that followed Him turned away from Him, Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe (John 6:63-64).”

The question that we must answer today is this:  will you believe God’s report?  Will you accept God’s truth in your heart?  Will you believe in the birth of the Savior that came to the world to save the world from sin?  Will you believe in the resurrection of the Savior that has imparted unto us salvation over sin?  Do you believe in the report that stated that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life?  Will you accept this truth in your heart?

Thought: The Truth in Your Heart

By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – December 12, 2021
Responsive Reading – John 6:43-60
Key Verse – John 12:37-38


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