Here we shall focus attention on this question, ‘ For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?(v.3)’ God made the children of Israel custodians of His oracles , which is the Law of Moses. Merely because they failed to keep them no one can blame God that He raised the bar too high for man to attain them. The Parable of the Good Samaritan points out one glaring omission that the Law could not address. Loving his neighbor as himself was something they failed to learn from it. Mercy of God suffuses His love. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;” Where God was long suffering despite of great many acts of stubbornness they still continued in their obstinacy.
Faith was another. Despite of all the wonders and miracles at Marah they were ready to stone Moses(Ex.15:25). Rather than trust in goodness of God they laid much in store for what they lacked at any given moment. Because of this their faith remained unformed, In their testing Jesus for signs we see how shallow their religion had become.
Faith without works is dead.
When the Angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus Virgin Mary was naturally dumbfounded. She knew her body better than anybody else. She was a virgin and her response showed she was obedient. Whereas Zacharias did doubt about his wife bearing at that advanced stage so the angel told him that he would be struck dumb (Lk.1:20). He gave the old man a saving clause to redeem himself. At the time John was to be circumcised his kinsmen wanted to know name the infant should bear. Zacharias wrote down the name in obedience to what the angel had informed at the first instance. “And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God(Lk.1:20,64). This leads us to the crux of the problem. How does one cultivate faith? Zacharias did priestly office,”According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord(v.9). If a just man like Zacharias could not build up faith despite of the advantages St Paul enumerates of being a Jew, how shall an elder like Nicodemus exercise faith? He questioned Jesus when he spoke of being born again. Literalism of Jews like literalism of great many scholars and ministers of the church shuts out God’s fulness. One glaring example was in the manner they tried to dispute with skeptics on the question of creationism or Darwinism.