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John 12:40

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And I should heal them - This verse is taken from Isaiah 6:9, and, perhaps, refers more to the judgments that should fall upon them as a nation, which God was determined should not be averted, than it does to their eternal state. To suppose that the text meant that God was unwilling that they should turn unto him, lest he should be obliged to save them, is an insupportable blasphemy.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

He hath blinded their eyes - The expression in Isaiah is, “Go, make the heart of this people fat, and shut their eyes.” That is, go and proclaim truth to them truth that will result in blinding their eyes. Go and proclaim the law and the will of God, and the effect will be, owing to the hardness of their heart, that their eyes will be blinded and their hearts hardened. As God knew that this would be the result - as it was to be the effect of the message, his commanding Isaiah to go and proclaim it was the same in effect, or in the result, as if he had commanded him to blind their eyes and harden their hearts. It is this effect or result to which the evangelist refers in this place. He states that God did it, that is, he did it in the manner mentioned in Isaiah, for we are limited to that in our interpretation of the passage. In that case it is clear that the mode specified is not a direct agency on the part of God in blinding the mind - which we cannot reconcile with any just notions of the divine character - but “in suffering the truth to produce a regular effect on sinful minds, without putting forth any positive supernatural influence to prevent it.” The effect of truth on such minds is to irritate, to enrage, and to harden, unless counteracted by the grace of God. See Romans 7:8-9, Romans 7:11; 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. And as God knew this, and, knowing it, still sent the message, and suffered it to produce the regular effect, the Evangelist says “he hath blinded their minds,” thus retaining the substance of the passage in Isaiah without quoting the precise language; but in proclaiming the truth there was nothing wrong on the part of God or of Isaiah, nor is there any indication that God was unwilling that they should believe and be saved.

That they should not see … - This does not mean that it was the design of God that they should not be converted, but that it was the effect of their rejecting the message. See the notes at Matthew 13:14-15.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Observe the method of conversion implied here. Sinners are brought to see the reality of Divine things, and to have some knowledge of them. To be converted, and truly turned from sin to Christ, as their Happiness and Portion. God will heal them, will justify and sanctify them; will pardon their sins, which are as bleeding wounds, and mortify their corruptions, which are as lurking diseases. See the power of the world in smothering convictions, from regard to the applause or censure of men. Love of the praise of men, as a by-end in that which is good, will make a man a hypocrite when religion is in fashion, and credit is to be got by it; and love of the praise of men, as a base principle in that which is evil, will make a man an apostate, when religion is in disgrace, and credit is to be lost for it.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 152.3

Everyone has opportunity to come to Christ and be converted, that He may heal them. But there will come a time when mercy will be no longer offered. Costly mansions, marvels of architectural skill, will be destroyed without a moment's notice, when the Lord sees that the owners have passed the boundaries of forgiveness. The destruction by fire of the stately buildings supposed to be fireproof is an illustration of how in a short time earth's architecture will lie in ruins.... TDG 152.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 164.3

Are the Scriptures vague and inconsistent? Is there any foundation for the conflicting opinions and various sentiments and doctrines that find credence in the religious world? If so, then we may entertain doubts of their divine origin, for it is not the inspiration of God that leads people to come to diverse opinions. Those who undertake to interpret the Bible, have corrupted the Word of God and wrested the Scripture from its true meaning, by seeking to harmonize the truth of God with the inventions and doctrines of men. The Scriptures are perverted and misapplied, and the gems of truth are set in the framework of error. These teachers are blinded, and cannot clearly discern what is the true meaning of the Scriptures.... TDG 164.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 318.6

Often the professed followers of Christ are found with hearts hardened and eyes blinded, because they do not obey the truth. Selfish motives and purposes take possession of the mind. In their self-confidence they suppose that their way is the way of wisdom. They are not particular to follow the path that God has marked out. They declare that circumstances alter cases, and when Satan tempts them to follow worldly principles, they yield, and making crooked paths for their feet, they lead others astray. The inexperienced follow where they go, supposing that the judgment of Christians so experienced must be wise.—Manuscript 135, October 31, 1902, “Instruction to the Church.” UL 318.6

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 621-6

This chapter is based on John 12:20-42.

“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.” DA 621.1

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