John 11:45 says: “Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.”
This took place right after Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead (read John 11). There was no doubt to the people who were present that Lazarus was dead. Even Martha – his sister – told Jesus he’d been dead 4 days and if they opened the cave where Lazarus was buried there would be a stench.
In spite of the fact that these people saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead – the scripture says “many” of the Jews believed. It doesn’t say – “all” the Jews who were present believed.
I know scripture is clear that not everyone will believe in Jesus, but I still think this is interesting. These people just saw Jesus raise a man from the dead. Granted there will always be skeptics, but still – A MAN WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD!
This reminds me of the story in the Bible of the rich man who is in hell and has a conversation with Abraham (Luke 16). He asks Abraham to send Lazarus who is in heaven (after Lazarus died a 2nd time) to dip his finger in water and touch it to his tongue to give him some relief. This can’t happen, and in the conversation the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers (who are still alive) so they’ll repent and not end up in hell also. Abraham tells him it won’t do any good because: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)
If a person refuses to listen to the Word of God – even when presented with an absolute miracle – they may still choose not to believe. Some people just don’t want to believe. I don’t know all the reasons for this, but I’m sure there are many. I know we have an enemy who is constantly striving to deceive people by getting them to doubt the Word of God and/or the goodness of God. There are people who have had a bad experience in church or with a pastor and blame God so they don’t want to submit to God. There are people who have gone through a tragedy and focus their anger toward God. There are intellectuals who have a hard time reconciling faith in God with science or reason. And there are people who simply don’t want to listen to or believe the Word of God because that means they’d have to face the reality of their own sin and be forced to make a choice about it.
Regardless, some will choose to believe – some won’t.