Who has believed what he has heard from us?
– Isaiah 53:1a
The gospel goes out, but few believe. The good news is preached, but few respond. This verse is quoted in John 12:37-38 in reference to people’s response to Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was indeed despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:3). This verse is also quoted by Paul in Romans 10:16 in reference to the many who refused to believe the gospel message as he preached it. And we might yet quote it today in our own context – who indeed has believed what he has heard from us? The good news of Jesus is all too often despised and rejected by men.
And yet Calvin suggests that this verse is not merely describing the refusal of people to believe in Jesus back then or today. Rather, it is Isaiah groaning before the Lord and crying out – who has believed what he has heard from us? Isaiah proclaimed the message of the coming Suffering Servant, but most refused to believe. And so he groans before the Lord.
We too ought to groan before the Lord for those who have not believed. We too ought to cry out to Him on behalf of unsaved family and friends, our neighbors and our communities. We too ought to groan, cry out, plead with God to open blinded eyes that they might see Jesus and believe.
Father, help us to groan for the lost.
May we be faithful in crying out to you on behalf of those
who desperately need a Savior.