Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
“I don’t trust you anymore,” says the young woman to her once-steady boyfriend. “I don’t trust you,” says the three-times-betrayed former best friend to his betrayer. “I don’t trust you,” says the would-be investor to the slick-talking get-rich-quick schemer. “I don’t trust you,” are saying many people today to both candidates for President of the United States. What about you? Whom do you trust?
Jesus didn’t entrust himself to anyone says John. Jesus changes water to wine, his first miracle, and his disciples believed in him. He cleared the temple of the money-changers and sacrifice hawkers, and made vague reference to his resurrection, which later would be remembered by his disciples; and they would believe in him.
People believe in Jesus, but Jesus would not entrust himself to people. Some would say that’s no way to live; we must entrust ourselves to others. But Jesus will not be hooked by the praise of men. He will not be taken by others’ adulation or applause. This is not a commentary on how to relate to others, nor about whether people will disappoint you or not. This is a witness to the steady character and clear identity of Jesus, the Word become flesh, the One through whom the whole of creation came into being.
A few years ago, I got invited to hang out with some major players in my church body. These guys were pastors of very large and influential churches, leaders and movers and shakers. Frankly, I was hooked by the idea. I didn’t need to distrust them, but I really did need to guard my own heart from believing that their approval, or being allowed into their group would somehow validate my being. But only God can do that. Thankfully I didn’t take the bait – though there was nothing nefarious about their agenda. When I entrust myself – my being, my soul, my identity – to God, I am in a very safe and good place. Jesus knew that and lived it his whole life. I want to live like that.