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Israel's blindness is a fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah 6:9-10 "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." The reason is sin. I highly recommend reading Isaiah chapters 1-5 which lists the many indictments such as Idolatry, sexual immorality (including homosexuality), drunkenness, pride, arrogance, etc. I see a shocking parallel between the state of Israel described and the present day state of the U.S. and world in general for that matter. God is loving and merciful, full of grace but judgement is certain if there is no repentance after repeated warnings and chastening.
Shalom, I do feel that some of them were blinded for my sake. The partial blinding according to Romans 9, 10, 11. Romans 11;25 reads - For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. I too was once even more poor, wretched, and blind I yet now by His grace I am saved! Ephesians 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Romans 11:30-32 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Obviously each of us is responsible for how they respond to the free offer of salvation and I do hope that some of them in that time period came to faith. And we do know of one Saul who became Paul. I believe God’s heart would be for us to stand in the breach before Him and turn His anger away that their offspring would not perish. May His mercy be shown to them even as it was shown to us.
It was God's full intention to blind the religious leaders' eyes as to who Jesus was. The high priest had to be the one who would have the final say to put Jesus on the cross, making his death a sacrifice and not an execution. Paul says if they had known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2 v. 8.
One would think that if God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that anyone might believe, why would that not apply to these certain group that God chose to blind their eyes. What is abundantly clear is that Jesus did not want them to understand and that the door of Salvation was indeed closed on them. The question remains with us. Why did the Almighty blind their eyes? If we considered all of mankind is listed as all totally depraved and could not do anything to make them worthy of everlasting life or making themselves unworthy of everlasting life then we would have to say it was God’s sovereign right to choose anyone and in His discretion, and without reason, He chose not to love the world but to only love the elect and to the rest He would present them a promise of hope but snatch it away from them to enlist His chosen few. That would seem very cruel indeed. The horror of being told “Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” then the One who gave the promise would only have in mind to save a chosen few. It would be like using a shrewd Salesmen’s method to gather a crowd to hear of his wonderful wares. To gather a crowd he promises that all who attend would receive a special gift, and when the multitude arrives he shows off his goods and then finally he chooses a random few to give the gift. So with the depraved Scribes and Pharisees and teachers of the law we should understand that Christ did have a reason why He shut the door in their faces. God is indeed a just and merciful God to all of those whom He invites to be saved. The Parable of the “King’s Feast for His Son” in Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:14-24 gives us a profound clue as to why the door was slammed shut in the face of those religious hypocrites. The parable describes the King sending His servants to call the “invited guests” to the feast. Those invited guests, however showed a disgusting contempt for the feast by making many lame excuses why they would not come. The King is furious and in His righteous indignation makes this statement; Luke 14:24 “For I say to you that none of these men who were invited shall taste of my supper.” If we note [Luk 7:30 ISV,] But the Pharisees and the experts in the Law rejected God's plan for themselves by refusing to be baptized by John. Here is the reason why the “invited guests” were rejected. Please note that though this feast had severe consequences for those who rejected the offer, the King who represents God Almighty, sent an invitation, it was not an imposing irresistible grace but an invitation that could be accepted or rejected. This was the calling and they refused the call but everyone that accepted the invitation would enjoy the privilege of being the Chosen. God was calling those Pharisees and religious hypocrites by the preaching of John and they rejected the invitation and this rejection caused the King to slam shut in their face what He had planned for them. The concept of God seeing an ocean of totally depraved human beings in a cesspool of sin and deciding to randomly choose a select few to exalt His Sovereign Grace is not concept found in scripture at all. The true concept is this. A compassionate God, not willing that any should perish sends His compassionate call out to the entire world “and as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God”! When a person chooses the grace of God, or as I’ve written, accepted the invitation to the great feast, they become the elect of God. Imagine God when describing the depravity of the generations of Noah. His complaint was that the whole of humanity was totally depraved except one named Noah. But Noah found grace in God’s eyes. He would be similar to the first Gentile convert who sought God continually (before he was saved) and did good deeds to the poor, noble acts that gave him a memorial in heaven and provoked God to reveal His divine plan of salvation to.
Paul was a Pharisees as was his father before converting to Christianity. (Acts 23:6) Paul had first hand knowledge of how the Pharisees were self-righteous rule followers engaging in conflicts between them selves and Jesus. This is the basis for Paul writing in Colossians 2:16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a holy day or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." Jesus showed the correct observance of the Sabbath Mark 2:27,28. The Pharisees were engaging in conflicts between themselves and Jesus Matt 12:27 Mark 2:28 Luke 6:5. Many Christians refer to what Paul writes in Colossians 2:16 as the end of God's 4th Commandment which is out of context. Paul provides us a warning, his inside look at the Pharisees and how they engaged in conflicts with Jesus and His word.
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