the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
The Jews wanted the Messiah. They want a clear answer from Jesus - is he the one?
Jesus replies that they have already been told. Previously, he has told them:
- He is the Son of Man come down from heaven (3:13-14)
- after healing a lame man Jesus said he did the works of his Father, and they tried to kill him for making himself equal with God (5:16-18)
- He has all judgement entrusted to him to give life and raise the dead (5:22, 24-46)
- He invited all who were thirsty to come to him for the living water that the Old Testament spoke about (7:37-38)
- He told the Jews that "before Abraham was born I am" (8:58)He has called himself the bread of life, the light of the world and the good shepherd, pointing to himself as the fulfillment of these promises.
They have also witnessed his miracles, turning water into wine, feeding 5000 and many healings.
Their unbelief is not impartial
McArthur - “unbelief asks the right questions but refuses the truthful answer”
Their unbelief is not due to a lack of evidence. Their unbelief is because Jesus is not the sort of Messiah they wanted, it is because he exposes their sinful hearts, it is because he does not conform to their religious system.
Nobody is impartial when they consider Jesus.