Volume XXXVIII, #31: A Heart Problem, Not an Evidence Problem
Romans 1:18-22 says everyone knows God exists already, but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. That explains some of the seemingly strange things Jesus said. Jesus wasn’t afraid to give people evidence; He performed miracles and rose from the dead as the ultimate proof of His claims. However, He knew mankind’s main problem wasn’t evidence; it was sin.
When the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign from heaven, He refused. Why? Because they had already seen plenty of signs from Jesus! It’s not that they were unable to interpret signs. In fact, they knew how to look at the sky and determine the weather! Yet they were unwilling to take Jesus’ signs to their logical conclusion because they were evil, so He wasn’t going to play their game (Matt. 16:1-4). On another occasion, Jesus told the Pharisees they were incapable of hearing His Word because in their hearts they served Satan (John 8:43-47). In Matthew 13:13 He said, “I speak to them in parables, because while seeing they do not see, while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” What? It sounds like Jesus was purposely hiding truth from people! He elaborates by quoting Isaiah 6 to show it’s because “their hearts have become dull and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see...” (v. 15). He wasn’t hiding information; He just knew there were people who willfully close their eyes and ears (cf. Acts 7:57 where the crowds literally covered their ears and rushed to kill Stephen).
In Luke 10:21, Jesus praises the Father for “hiding these things from the wise and intelligent and revealing them to infants.” This isn’t a contrast in intelligence! He isn’t saying smart people reject Him and dumb people accept him. It’s a moral statement. The “wise and intelligent” are those who don’t think they need God. Infants admit their humble dependence. It’s a heart issue. Why did Jesus stay silent at His trial? Because no amount of evidence would have changed their sinful hearts. Man’s problem is sin, not a lack of evidence. Repentance is the solution, not just more evidence. In fact, a man named Sye Bruggencate who works with Jeff Durbin on Youtube sometimes asks unbelievers, “If I gave you sufficient evidence for the existence of God, would you submit your life to Him?” and they say, “No.” There it is. Jesus died on a cross, not just to give us evidence for God’s existence and love, but to change our sinful hearts and bring us to our knees in repentance and faith. When unbelievers today say “If God would just give me evidence, I’d believe,” they don’t understand evidence isn’t the problem. God has given them plenty (Rom. 1:20). The problem is they’re suppressing the truth of God with their sin. If they’re genuinely searching, we can help them along with evidence, but ultimately they’ll need to stop living for themselves and submit to King Jesus. That’s not just a mind change; it’s a heart change.