Jesus Knew What Was in Man

(John 2:23-25)

Whom should you trust? Who can you trust and know that you will be OK in all situations? Until you really know a person it is not wise to entrust yourself to them as people will take advantage of others if they have the opportunity.

In this section of scripture we see that Jesus did not entrust himself to any man. The scripture says, “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (Verses 24-25) There is a good lesson in this and we would be wise to listen to what the Lord shows us here. We should also take the time to understand why the Lord took this position.


Let us first look at the situation Jesus was in at that time. It was the time of his first Passover feast at Jerusalem after he had begun his ministry. He performed many signs and miracles of healing and this scripture says, “…many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.” (verse 23)

How many people today, when they see something amazing will seek to exploit it or the person doing it? The world today especially is littered with examples of people with amazing talents and abilities that have been exploited by others for the sake of gain and profit. The line that comes to my mind is, “Stick with me kid and I’ll make you a star!”

Was it any different in biblical times? Would there have been a shifty or sleazy promoter in those times that would not have thought how much money could be made if they could “manage” Jesus Christ and make Him a superstar? It happened then just as much as it happens today and it is no wonder that Jesus did not entrust himself to any man.

Look at what happened with Paul and Silas when they entered the city of Thyatira in Acts 16:16-19.

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.
17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.

These men used this girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination to make much gain. But when Paul cast the divination spirit out of the girl, releasing her from this bondage, the men were not happy that she was set free from this spiritual slavery. No, they were incensed that their means of making gain at the expense of this young girl had gone. So they had Paul and Silas dragged before the magistrates and locked up.

So the evil of exploitation was certainly alive and well in biblical times and thus it is no wonder that Jesus did not entrust himself to any man. And there is more.

The Sin Factor

We know that man is inherently sinful. It is because of sin that man is separated from God. And there are many places in the bible where we see the extent and degree of sin within mankind.

Man is a liar, murderer, fornicator, adulterer, full of anger, wrath, malice, greed, slander and licentiousness. Which of these human characteristics would entice one person to trust another person? So why would the Lord put his trust in mankind when He was so abundantly aware of the shortcoming and failings of mankind? Indeed the very reason the Lord came to the earth was to provide man with a salvation that could set man free from these very things. But that was not the situation at the point in time when Jesus had just begun his ministry, and thus he could not trust man.

The time would come when he would trust man, for he entrusted man with the work of spreading the word of the gospel and the building of His church. He entrusted to the Apostle Peter the ministry and leadership of the early church, telling Peter to pastor, teach and feed the flock. (John 21:15-19)

Who can you trust?

So the lesson here for us is to ask the question, who can you trust? Do we have to go through life doubting every person and suspecting everyone of foul play or seeking to gain an advantage over us? Do we have to be paranoid to survive in this world?

No we don’t. First we must understand that we can trust Jesus and the Father. Their purpose is to bring each and every one of their children to the place of righteousness. It is not the Lords desire that any be lost, but it is clear that many will not heed his call. And to assist us come to the place of freedom in Christ Jesus, he provides us with the Holy Spirit to teach, lead, guide, counsel, guard and protect us. He only gives good gifts to his children so He can be trusted totally.

Also as we saw above, Jesus came to the point where he could trust some men. We too can learn to trust his children who are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But wee need to exercise caution just as Jesus did. He warns us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. So we are to watch people who claim to be Christians to determine if they can be trusted.

And Jesus gave us a test to see if another person can be considered trustworthy. He said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-20, Luke 6:43-45) what he is telling us is to watch those who come to us and see what they say and do. Are their words and actions consistent with the truth of the New Covenant or not? He is telling us not to blindly accept everyone claiming to be a Christian at face value for they may not be what they appear to be but may be seeking to gain an advantage over you. As he also showed us in Matthew 7:21-23,

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

So even some who appear to be doing the works of God and operating miraculous gifts of the Spirit will not be accepted because they are not operating in accordance with the will of the Father in heaven. And what is the will of the Father? Jesus shows us in John 6:40. “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” To do the will of the Father is to believe in Jesus Christ. When we have faith in Jesus and we put our trust in him alone and not in any man, including ourself, then we are doing the will of the Father.

(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Laura Mae Luett)

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