This section of the gospel is chock full of good stuff. As you read, you can sense the honest struggle that people are having with Jesus - what to do with him? Soren Kierkegaard points out that people living today would react the same way to Jesus if they lived back then, or if Jesus showed up now. Jesus would be just as confusing, just as brilliant, just as disturbing, just as free, just as powerful, just as frustrating, just as compassionate, just as infuriating, just as kind, just as patient, just as honest, just as itinerant today as he was then. When you read, do you just assume that you agree with what Jesus teaches and does?
Religious people had a hard time accepting Jesus- if you're religious now, you may struggle with accepting Jesus as he really is (you may prefer a sanitized version...) (see reaction to Jesus' Good Sheperd sermon)
Political people had a hard time accepting Jesus - if you're political now, you may resent Jesus since he can either make you look like power-grabber or a people-user. (see reaction to the Triumphal Entry & Lazarus' Resurrection)
Ordinary people had a hard time accepting Jesus - if you're part of the status quo, you don't want anyone to bring change that might result in you losing some of your preferred habits and privileges. (see John's quote of Isaiah)
JesusFollowers even had a hard time with Jesus - they often didn't understand what he was teaching, didn't know why he was doing what he was doing, bickered and argued amongst themselves; misunderstood what Jesus was all about (see Martha)
Maybe that is why belief is a main theme of these three chapters - what pleases Jesus is that we start off with belief...this must mean that belief is a radical step and is NOT as easy as we think it may be. "I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." (John 12:48)
What do you think that verse means? If you are not sure, reread John 1. What lights up your life? Don't be too quick to declare Jesus as your light...it might be worth examining what flashlights you hold in your hands as substitutes for belief in Jesus. It is hard to believe in Jesus...that's why it is so easy to live in the light of something other then Him.
"Sir, we wish to see Jesus." (John 12:21)