The last part of chapter 6 in our series on Hitting the Mark talks about that very thing.
If you notice the last phrase in verse 52 says that their hearts were hardened… what does that mean, exactly? Have you wondered this? One of the “old guys,” Charles Finney, an amazing preacher/pastor in the early to mid 1800’s described it better than I ever could.
Prof. Finney said this about “a hard heart” - hardness of heart is a voluntary state of mind. If it is a voluntary state, it must be the will in a state of choice--a will committed, for the time being, to some form of selfishness. The term hardness is appropriately used, because when the heart is in this state, it is stubborn, and will notyield to the truth, and prevents the intelligence and sensibility from perceiving, and being duly impressed by the truth.
Did you get that? It’s a stubbornness and selfishness that prevents all you know, all you’ve seen, all you’ve experienced from leading you to the truth. It instead says, “I don’t care what I know, what I’ve seen, or what I’ve experienced… I refuse to do this, or accept this.”
It’s irrational, and illogical. It’s pride.
To put it in visual form, it would look like this -
The disciples had witnessed, experienced, and been a part of miracle after miracle, and yet, they didn’t allow that knowledge and those experiences to culminate in their hearts and minds to realize that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the King.
They were still missing the deeper truth.
Notice the next few verses - THEY STILL WENT WITH JESUS. Their hearts weren’t so hardened that they refused to continue searching for Him. To continue being with Him. To continue learning from Him.
Did you get that? They didn’t quit… They DUG DEEPER. THEY WORKED. THEY TRUSTED.
And over time, THEY CALLED OUT. THEY RELENTED. THEY REPENTED. THEY SUBMITTED.
In the midst of their doubt, their frustrations, their “hard heartedness,” their pride, their selfishness, their ignorance, their lack of perception… in the midst of all that, they still CHOSE TO FOLLOW JESUS. They chose to follow and continue to learn…
And what happened? They came around to this…
What are YOU waiting for?