The Enigma of Trust
Reading: John 1, 2
Trust is as basic a necessity as food, clothing and shelter—but much harder to hang on to.
Jesus knew the reality of that. Early in His ministry the crowds followed Him, eager to hear from the “new kid on the block” and to see the miracles that He did. It was the best show in town—at least for that moment.
John 2:23 (NIV) says: “Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.”
We put a lot of stock in those last four words: “believed in his name.” But Jesus didn’t. Verse 24 goes on to say: “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.”
The Lord was compassionate, loving, forgiving; but never naïve. That’s a balance we sometimes find hard to achieve. The disappointments we suffer at the hands of others often make us bitter, angry, and protective. “I’ll never let myself be hurt by so-and-so again!” comes the cry of a wounded heart.
I suspect that some people close to the Lord thought He was naïve and tried to warn him. I can almost hear them whispering, “Don’t trust so-and-so. He’s just pretending to believe.” That might explain verse 25: “He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.”
We are never told that Jesus accused anyone who claimed to be His follower of NOT being a true believer. He knew that eventually the tiger pretending to be a puppy would show his stripes.
But the main message here, I think, goes back to that truth that even though Jesus wasn’t naïve about what people were like, He never failed to be compassionate, loving and forgiving.
And that’s a good lesson to learn and example to follow.