October 2 I Wednesday
“…the others were hardened, as it is written: ‘God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.’” —Romans 11:7-8
Like a king, Jesus rode triumphantly on a donkey into Jerusalem. Like a priest, Jesus went into the temple and drove out the merchants. And like a prophet, Jesus stood and taught in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes did not like what Jesus was doing but did not want to merely put a knife in Him, rather they wanted to legally bring Jesus to a point where they could get rid of Him. Therefore, one day, they challenged Jesus by asking, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things…Who gave You this authority?” Instead of answering their question directly, Jesus gives them a question in return, “I will also ask you a question. Tell Me: John’s baptism––was it from heaven, or of human origin?” (Luke 20:2-4).
This question stumped the chief priests and the scribes. Not only was Jesus’s question a clever debating ploy, He posed that question to expose their lack of honesty and integrity, because these men were not dealing objectively with the facts. If these men were honest, they would have said, “We don’t want to answer this question,” since either answer would have got them into trouble. But they answered, “We don’t know where it was from” (Luke 20:7), which revealed their problem of failing to see the truth and failing to see who Jesus was because their hearts were hardened against it. The issue was not that they could not see but that they did not want to see.
The biggest barrier to Christ in many people is not the mind but the attitude. If their hearts are hardened against Him in the first place, their attitudes become hardened. We find this hardening process throughout the gospels, such as in Jesus’s miraculous feeding of the five thousand. Mark tells us, “for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened” (Mark 6:52). They had not been able to deduce any logical conclusions about who Jesus was when He miraculously fed them, not because they did not have eyes to see what was happening or did not participate in eating the bread and the fish, but because their hearts were hardened. It is much easier to teach an uninformed mind than to break a hardened heart. Yet, these hardened hearts are found throughout the New Testament.
As we honestly reflect on ourselves, what is our true heart condition before God? Is our heart open or hardened towards Jesus? May we ask God to open our eyes to understanding, break our hardened hearts and cause us to come into a living relationship with Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see You, break my hardened heart and bring me into a living relationship with You. Thank You, Lord!