Jesus had just had an amazing set of encounters in Jerusalem. He’d drawn whips to chase the merchants out of the temple. He’d compared himself to the temple, shocking the Jews. He’d performed many miraculous signs, causing many to believe.
Yet, in John 2:24, we’re told that he did not entrust himself to the people.
Why not? Hadn’t he done the signs to stir belief? Hadn’t he revealed his zeal for God’s house in cleansing the temple? Hadn’t he confronted the religious leaders?
The people responded with belief. And he didn’t believe their belief.
Rightly so. Even the disciples believed and then didn’t and then believed and then didn’t throughout Jesus’ ministry. At the end, when he was arrested, they scattered like lightning bugs in the light.
Jesus didn’t entrust himself to the people for he knew what was in a person. He hadn’t come to this earth to befriend them or to set up a fraternity but to save them. He wasn’t fishing for approval or even understanding.
He knew what was in us and his mission was rescue. He wasn’t a church planter or a consensus-builder. He came because he knew our sin nature, that we are incapable of even belief apart from him.
When did the disciples finally come to the place of commitment and courage? After Pentecost, when they were indwelt by the Spirit of God.
We can’t do this alone. In that early chapter of John, many people believed Jesus’ signs and his words. But Jesus never sought their approval. He knew it would waft in the wind like fog off the river.
He didn’t come to be approved but to save.
Next: our knowing