18.But the Jews did not believe. There are two things here which ought to be observed; that they do not believe that a miracle has been performed, and that, being wilfully blinded through a perverse hatred of Christ, they do not perceive what is manifest. The Evangelist tells us thatthey did not believe. If the reason be asked, there can be no doubt that their blindness was voluntary. For what prevents them from seeing an obvious work of God placed before their eyes; or, after having been fully convinced, what prevents them from believing what they already know, except that the inward malice of their heart keeps their eyes shut? Paul informs us that the same thing takes place in the doctrine of the Gospel; for he says that it is not hidden or obscure, except to the reprobate,
whose understandings the god of this world hath blinded,
Warned by such examples, let us learn not to bring upon ourselves those obstacles which drive us away from the faith. By the Jews, the Evangelist means that part of them which held the government of the people.