John 12:36-50 – Do you believe?

My sermon notes for Sunday, March. 18th as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit


John 12:36–50 – DO YOU BELIEVE?

The conflict between belief and unbelief

Lessons on faith

[35] So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. [36] While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. [37] Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, [38] so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:


“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”


[39] Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,


[40] “He has blinded their eyes

and hardened their heart,

lest they see with their eyes,

and understand with their heart, and turn,

and I would heal them.”


[41] Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. [42] Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; [43] for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

[44] And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. [45] And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. [46] I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. [47] If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. [48] The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. [49] For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. [50] And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (ESV)



3 thoughts on what the text is conveying:

  1. Jesus previous words convey the importance of the day (vv.. 35-36 – Last week). He is the light and is in their midst.  His presence demands a decision.  But, their rejection is what allows God’s perfect will to be done.  Their rejection is God’s plan for Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension.


  1. It also conveys the constant ALL READY AND NOT YET idea that is throughout Scripture.
  • The light is among, but not for long
  • I am the light now, but the cross will demonstrate and reveal the true light.


  1. It gives us a great picture of true faith. It enables us to see from the eyes of Jesus what it means to truly believe in Him.



vv. 37-50 (Big Picture)


  • A conclusion of His public ministry and a summation what He has been teaching/proclaiming (Chapters 13-17 He is alone teaching the disciples)
    • Who He is
    • Where He is from
    • Why He came
    • What it means to us
  • He is answering the question “if Jesus was so great, why didn’t everyone believe on Him?”
  • To demonstrate that He had not failed but that all things work according the purposes and ways of God.


No Faith – vv. 37-41


v. 38 – Isaiah 53:1 – (SUFFERING SERVANT 52:13-53:12)

  • Who has believed
  • Even though it was revealed


  • They would not – v. 37
  • They could not – v. 39


v. 40 – Isaiah 6 – The calling of the prophet.

  • A call to go for the Lord and be His prophet/messenger.


Isaiah said these things because he saw the Lord’s glory (already… not yet)


Who Knows Faith – vv. 42-43


An intellectual understand

  • A desire for the glory of man rather than God
    • Concerned over societies perception
    • Self esteem
    • The worlds expectation for my life
  • We fit Jesus in
    • He is more of a convenience, rather than our Master



True Faith – vv. 44-50


  1. Belief in Jesus means belief in God.
    1. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit


  1. Jesus is the Light of the World


  1. Faith in His Words brings salvation. His words are the very words of God.  To obey His words are to obey God’s Words.  (Remember, the religious leaders THOUGHT they were doing God’s will)


  1. To reject His is to face eternal judgment