About the blindness of the Jews

Paul explains in Romans 1 that those who choose their own desires and worship idols instead of the Lord God are allowed that pursuit. God gives them up and releases them.

The Gospel is God's power working toward salvation and this is to "everyone who believes with a personal trust and confident surrender and firm reliance." This is the foundation Paul lays before he tackles the evilness that man is capable of.

But God's wrath and indignation are revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who, in their wickedness repress and hinder the righteousness and make it inoperative.

That which is known about God is made evident to them by God (19). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]. This is because when they recognized Him as God, they rejected Him as God.

God made it perfectly clear who He was to Pharaoh long before He used Moses and the plagues. Pharaoh rejected God as God and set himself up in the vainest way as god.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day took exception to John the Baptist. But let it slide because they recognized the verses that John quoted to them about being the voice in the wilderness. King Herod took great exception. John recognized what was in their hearts and called those religious leaders a "brood of vipers" and asked them "who warned you to flee the wrath to come?"

Jesus explains even further when He says in Matt 12:35 "and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things." It comes out of the heart.

The Pharisees and the Saducees had ample time to change their minds and to recognized Jesus for who He was as the disciples recognized Him from the very beginning. They were Scripture scholars yet they turned a blind eye to the fulfillment of the Scriptures in Jesus. They had Moses and the Prophets to tell them who He was, yet they didn't believe even when He rose from the dead.

Is it in God's character to create an evil heart? I don't think so. Because of Matthew 12, I think what Paul is teaching in Romans 1 is that it is most likely what ever the human does with the inbred knowledge of God (accepts or rejects) determines what will come forth from the heart. And I believe Paul got it from Jesus.

Matthew 12: 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

Matthew 7
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

I look at this as God rejecting them after they rejected God's Son.

If they had accepted Jesus for Who He is, then they never would have brought Him to be crucified...would never have shouted for Barabbas... and there would never have been severe persecution which only made the Gospel seed be planted deeper with stronger roots and less infighting because all Christians had a common enemy: first the Jews but ultimately, Rome.

Yes, God blinded them. Yes, God blocked their understanding because
1. They exchanged truth for a lie
2. Worshipped and served the creation
3. They did not acknowledge God or approve Him even though they had full knowledge of Him
4. Romans 1:31[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.
5. Being fully aware of God's consequences of such acts that being death, they not only practice those things but approve others that do them.

Since God is this way with the Gentiles, how much more and worse are the consequences for those Jews who were Scripture scholars and refused to believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Two more points that are crucial. Recall Blind Bartimaeus who sat by the roadside begging. He kept shouting for Jesus and when Jesus heard him, He called for him and then asked, "What do you want Me to do?" Bartimaeus said, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight." And Jesus healed him.

The Spirit of the Lord was upon Jesus (Luke 4:18) Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed..."

All they had to do was recognize that they were blind in order for Jesus to give them their sight and their understanding. They were too proud to do so.

Luke 16:31 He said to him, If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead.
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