My friend is an airline pilot who works for one of the major carriers. He told me that he prays before every flight. I replied, “What a coincidence – so do I!” Do I trust pilots? Well, not to the same degree that I trust the Lord.
But there is a passage of Scripture that causes me to wonder if Jesus trusts me. John 2:23 says this, “Now while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover, many people believed in his name because they saw the miraculous signs he was doing.”
He was in Jerusalem performing the miracles that validated Him as the divine Messiah sent from the Father. Consequently, the many who witnessed these things came to “believe in His name.“
Fantastic. That was exactly what Jesus wanted to see happen – people placing their faith in Him. It was a great success – but there is a “but” that follows.
“But Jesus would not entrust himself to them – John 2:24a.
This is disturbing! The New Testament was recorded in Greek and the Greek word for “believe” in verse 23 is from the word “pisteuo” – “they believed in His name.” Ironically, the very same word was used in verse 24, “Jesus would not entrust (pisteuo) Himself to them.”
They came to believe in Jesus, but Jesus did not believe in them. This means that He did not fully open Himself to them or be vulnerable with them or share confidential things with them.
Why? John answered, “…because he knew all people. He did not need anyone to testify about man, for he knew what was in man.” – John 2:24b-25. Ouch – that hurts!
You see there was a twofold strategy to the ministry of Jesus. First: do miracles to validate the message and then deliver the message. The miracles were easy for people to swallow – the message – not so much.
Jesus presented Himself as more than a carpenter’s son. He claimed that He came down from heaven. (John 6:41). Once the multitude heard this, “many of his disciples quit following him and did not accompany him any longer.” – John 6:66
He knew what was in all men, and found it hard to trust them.
It’s true, that Jesus entrusted Himself to some more than others. He did not trust the Pharisees at all (Matthew 16:6); He was wary of the believing multitude (John 6:14-15).
But He did let His disciples into His life; and then there was Peter, James and John who composed His inner circle who exclusively saw Jesus in the glory of His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9) and the grief of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:3-7)
So why some and not others?
Jesus was disappointed with the multitude that had deserted him, so He turned to the few that He had entrusted Himself to – His disciples, and He said, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” (John 6:67)
Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God!” – John 6:68-69
We understand what it means to marry someone for their money. That seems to be what many did with Jesus. But Peter and his comrades, they followed Jesus because they understood and accepted the person that He was. Jesus was pleased to let in people like that.
What about you? Are you latched onto Jesus for the perks – or because you understand that He is the Holy One of God – your Sovereign Lord and author of eternal life?
Does Jesus believe in you?
A PRAYER: Lord, remind me when I selfishly begin to use you, and feel free to use me instead.
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Scripture references are from the NETBible.com