John 12:39-40 ‘Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.’
This could be interpreted as the ultimate teaching in predestination. That interpretation would be that these people were never given the opportunity to believe because of Isaiah’s prophecies. However, the Word of God makes it clear that ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Rom. 10:13); ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Rev. 3:20); and ‘whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely’ (Rev. 22:17). No one has ever been denied the opportunity to accept salvation (Ti. 2:11).
Mark 6:5 says that ‘he (Jesus) could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.’ In that instance, it is evident that the reason Jesus couldn’t do any mighty work was not because He didn’t possess the power, but because He chose not to use that power against a person’s will. He couldn’t perform the mighty works because of His decision to uphold our freedom of choice.
Likewise, these Jews could not believe because of their choice to reject Jesus. They could not believe because they chose not to believe. ‘They stumbled at the stumbling stone’ (Rom. 9:32), which was Jesus.
Isaiah did not predestine them to this fate. Rather he saw that very few would receive the report (Isa. 53:1) about the Messiah, and therefore would be kept from the knowledge of salvation because they rejected Him in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found (Col. 2:3). This is what Isaiah prophesied, and it came to pass. Be careful what you choose.