Remember when the Peanuts cartoon strip came to the TV screen – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Pig Pen?

Remember how often the kids were shown sitting in the classroom, responding to the teacher’s questions and instructions?  Do you remember the teacher’s voice – what she sounded like? You could never understand her words. It was always: “Wah, wa, wah, wa, wah…”

I didn’t get this until I was older.  It was the cartoonist’s way of saying that the kids are not really listening to the teacher.  After a while, they just tune her out. It all sounds the same. She might as well be saying, “Wah, wa, wah, wa, wah…”  Parents get this too…how their kids tune them out.

Something like this happens on a spiritual level in a deeper and more dangerous way.  Eyes become dark, ears dull, hearts calloused. Two people sit in the same pew. One, by God’s grace really hears.  Another, by his own negligence, tunes out the sweetest voice ever heard.

Our Lenten text from Isaiah 53 today begins with the question:  “”Who has believed our report?” In the 12th chapter of John’s Gospel which we also referenced last Wednesday, the apostle points back to what Isaiah said:  

“Even though Jesus had done so many miraculous signs in their presence, they still did not believe in him.  This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said:

Lord, who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For this reason they could not believe, because Isaiah also said:

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart,
so that they would not see with their eyes,
or understand with their heart,
or turn—and I would heal them.

Isaiah said these things when he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.”