John 2:23-25 (NIV) 23Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
This was the first Passover Feast of Jesus’ ministry. He had been going every year, but now the Spirit had directed Him to do miraculous things to confirm the words that He spoke. The Jews believed that miracles authenticated the ministry of the prophet. In Jesus’ case, He would do miracles that were beyond the scope of any prophet.
Though the people believed in Him, He did not entrust (or commit) himself to them. He understood the nature of man. Since the Spirit had not been poured out, Jesus knew He could count on man to be self-centered and treacherous. The Old Testament tells us that if we place our trust in man, we put ourselves under a curse. Jesus was following the agenda of the Holy Spirit, not that of man. He committed Himself to God alone.
Jesus did not need to learn from experience that men are evil. He knew from the time of being conscious of His condition as the Son of God in human form. When He found Himself in the fashion of a man He humbled himself and became obedient to the Father. He knows our condition. He knows our nature.
We need to understand this lesson. Even the best-intentioned men are men. Even Spirit filled men can backslide. Our trust and hope must be in God alone. We should have fellowship and work together with our brothers, but ultimately we commit ourselves to the Father. Jesus is the head of the body, and He alone can give us our instructions. We must obey Him above all the leading, programs, and schemes of men.
Knowing what is in man also means knowing what is in me. I must follow the Apostle Paul’s example of keeping my body submitted to the will of God, dying daily. It is important for us to understand what is in man. It keeps us looking to the right source, and it guards our hearts against making men into idols. It should also keep us dependent on the Lord.
Consider: Know thyself. Know the nature of man.
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