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?"
39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,Lest they should see with their eyes,Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them."
41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in 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.
That the saying (v. 38) = Consequently the saying
report (v. 38) — Christ's words and His miracles
They could not believe (v. 39) — The nation of Israel was already in spiritual darkness when Isaiah wrote this 700 years earlier.
blinded (v. 40) — see back to verse 36 — The Light hid Himself from them. The same thing will happen again in the Tribulation (Isaiah 55:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Hebrews 2:3)
Isaiah (v. 40-41) — Because they would not believe (Matthew 13:14-15; Acts 28:25-31), they were given over to blindness in which they could not believe — until a future prophesied in Zechariah 12:9-10 — It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
This is no doubt a very solemn and awful subject. It seems at first sight to make God the author of man's destruction. But surely a moment's reflection will show us that God is a Sovereign in punishing, and may punish in any way He pleases. Some He cuts off suddenly the moment they sin. Others He gives over to judicial blindness, and ceases to strive with their consciences. "The Judge of all the earth will certainly do right." Those whom He is said to "harden and blind" will always be found to be persons whom He had previously warned, exhorted, and constantly summoned to repent. And never is He said to harden and blind, and give men up to judicial hardness and blindness, till after a long course of warnings. This was certainly the case with Pharaoh and with the Jews. — The Gospel of John, by Arno Clemens Gaebelein, page 238
These things Isaiah said (v. 41) — Isaiah 6:1
saw His glory (v. 41) — Isaiah saw the preincarnate Christ.
Chief rulers believed (v. 42) — Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea (John 5:44).
Loves the praise of men (v. 43) — Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).