39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 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. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Who is Christ speaking about? He says that this was spoken by Isaiah when Isaiah saw him in his glory in Isaiah 6. The historical context of Isaiah is a nation already hardened in rebellion against God and in danger of a prophesied coming judgement due to their hardness of heart. The same context is true in the gospel accounts as Christ has predicted another coming Judgement due to the same hardness of heart. Hence, he is speaking about those, especially those among the ruling class who had hardened their heart against Christ which preceded the attempt to have him killed. However, does this condition described require a preceding "neutral" condition in regard to the human nature toward God? We think not! Man is by nature already predisposed to be at enmity toward God and this is proven in every child born of man. You NEVER need to teach children to do wrong - that comes by natural disposition (Rom. 8:7). No parent can truthfully deny that as it is self-evident to all around them if their parent is so deluded and incapable of recognizing it. Exposure to the law/light brings this predisposed inclination to light and that is the very design God had for the law, to expose the fallen condition of man by confronting him with light. Rom. 7:7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. The depraved nature lies somewhat dormant until it is confronted by light. The light of conscience, the light of the law both educate man in regard to what is sin. The dormant depraved nature responds one of two ways when confronted by light. 1. Attempts to remove itself from condemnation by attempting to obey the Law which is a futile exercise that never works but only increases the condemnation - religious hardening. 2. Rebels against the light by justifying itself, creating its own standard of right and wrong that fits its desires. searing conscience. Apart from a DIFFERENT HEART the "old" fleshly heart always responds by hardening against the light either by religious hardening or outright searing of conscience by self-justification.