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Believing Without Entrusting

John 2:23-25
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. (NIVUK)

Although Jesus did many miracles, and people believed He probably was the Messiah, their hearts were not changed.  John’s Gospel particularly records seven of those signs in detail and explains why Jesus' purpose in the miracles went much further than to be the healer-provider of individuals: but that people might entrust themselves to Him as the Saviour of the world.  John 20:30-31 says, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Although the crowds believed that the miracles were real, and longed to see more of Jesus for what they could get out of Him, He could already see what was in them.  Like wild animals, such as lions tamed by their trainers who give them what they want in exchange for altered behaviour, the crowds flocked to Jesus but would not entrust themselves to Him.  Unlike the popular touring preachers and false messiahs, Jesus has no need of their approval.  He did not need to win their admiration to gather a following which would promote His personality as a celebrity, as social media influencers do today.  

The success of Jesus’ mission did not depend on human popularity, or His own strength, but on His obedience to the Father’s will (Luke 22:42).  He knew that they would all desert Him (Mark 14:50) but that through His death He would gather those who would believe in Him through many generations.  That is why He did not entrust Himself to them.  He knew their inner nature of wicked sinfulness.  He knew that one day they would roar like lions, thirsting for His death (John 19:15).  But that was the very purpose for which He came: to be the Saviour of sinners.  Without trusting in His sacrificial death, all would perish (John 3:16).

However much we may appear to be nice people, by nature, we are rebellious against God.  We are born in sin (Psalm 51:5) and have the inner capacity for all kinds of evil.  Although we are unaware of the depths of wicked potential within us, Jesus knows what is in us, and unless we are saved we have no hope for eternity (John 3:18).  Whatever we think of ourselves, Jesus knows us completely.  He knows that we will do anything to get what we want, and we will even appear to comply with Him as long as He meets our needs.  But unless our nature is changed, we will continue to be ‘children of wrath’, that is people who are awaiting God’s judgement (Ephesians 2:3). That is why we need Jesus to be our Saviour (see www.crosscheck.org.uk); and that is true for all our friends and colleagues too.

Dear Lord. Thank You for knowing everything about me. You know how easily I deceive myself. But I know I cannot deceive You. I am sorry for the times when I have bargained with You, seeking Your blessing but being unwilling to change my heart and submit to You. Please help me to commit myself fully to You so that You will be my Master, and I will trust You to lead and guide, save and provide. May I daily acknowledge You to be my only Saviour, and recommend You to those with whom I live and work. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams