Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25)
He Had No Faith In Their Faith
The life of Jesus spans a short time of about thirty-three years and yet everything Jesus said and did could not be recorded if man took to task to describe the incredible life of God’s Son. John the apostle commented the earth could not contain the whole message and power of the life of Jesus. It is impossible to detail every miracle done by Jesus as He healed multitudes upon multitudes. His miracles were powerful testimonies of His divinity and thousands of people were recipients of healings, feedings, cleansings and wonderment at the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit through the hands of the man from Nazareth. Many people believed in Jesus because of the miracles they saw. Often those who were healed would follow Jesus or begin to proclaim to the world what Jesus had done for them. The purpose of the marvels of His power was to prove He was the divine Son of God and no man could call upon the Father as Jesus did. There were many who did not believe although great miracles were done before them. Blinded by their prejudices their hearts turned dark against the Lord rejecting His teachings but never denying His miracles.
While in the city of Jerusalem during the time of the Passover, Jesus wrought many signs among the people and they believed on Him. This would have been a great time for Jesus to connect with the multitudes and trust they would follow Him, believing He was the Son of God and the world would change to understand who He was and why He came. However, John tells us that Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew the fickle and reckless nature of men. He did not believe in their belief and had no confidence in their faith of Him. It would seem counter-intuitive for Jesus to react like this because at the height of His popularity He could impress upon everyone His nature and they would follow Him with great devotion. Sadly, Jesus had a certain knowledge that would not allow Him to give His trust to men and that was the reality that Jesus knew the hearts of men. It was not to be trusted. At one moment the crowds are praising Jesus of Nazareth as a great miracle worker and the next condemning Him for saying God was His Father. Jesus would not commit Himself to man because the miracles impressed men more than the teaching. As long as there were outward signs of the power of God men would be enthralled by the presence of Jesus but that is not why the Lord came to earth. His purpose was not to take away the poverty of the body, remove disease from the world or raise everyone from the dead. The miracles were testimonies but His teaching was salvation. All men could see were the incredible wonders done by the carpenter’s son.
Jesus could not commit Himself to the fickle nature of man because He knew how short lived that devotion would be. He also knew that His glory was not measured by the amount of crowds that followed Him or throngs of people that worshiped Him. The work of God’s Son was to turn hearts to His Father and show them the path of righteousness through the sacrifice on the cross. Miracles would not save man. His teaching brought men to the throne of God. On the cross Jesus opened the doors of salvation by shedding His blood for the redemption of all men. Shortly before He was crucified He was hailed as a conquering hero as the people welcomed Him into Jerusalem. Riding on a colt, the people spread palm branches before Him as He entered the city. It must have been in the mind of Jesus as He rode among the people of how little confidence He felt in their adoration – knowing they were going to mock Him, scourge and kill him in a very short time. Jesus did not put His confidence in men. He could only put His faith in His Father.
There is a strong lesson for all of us to learn from Jesus. We do not have the divine ability as He did to know all men but we can know all men like Jesus did. He did not commit Himself to men because He knew how difficult we struggle with commitment. The best we can often do is still too little. We try hard to be the kind of people we should be but we struggle. Realizing this we know all men have a battle to fight and our commitment should never be solely in others but in the Lord alone. The confidence we have in others is important and should be looked upon as strength to help us but ultimately our strength must come from God. He is the only one who knows us and knows the hearts of all men. We can disappoint and fail others but God never fails and will never disappoint. Like Jesus, our glory comes from the Father, not men. Trusting in the grace of the Lord will never disappoint. Anchor the soul on the promises of God and you will never lose your way.
- Kent Heaton