Summary: Jesus did not determine who He was by what men had to say about Him. Jesus knew the people He was ministering to. He knew that one day they all would turn away and reject Him.
- Part Three -
Jesus as Love
Text: John 2:23 – 25
This passage is a good example to me why it is important to meditate on the Word of the Lord. You can mistake the meaning of the word if you only glance at it.
You could read this and wonder if Jesus didn’t trust men.
Is this saying that Jesus is skeptical and distrusting of people?
Can I tell you that I have been this way on numerous occasions?
Shortly after Marjorie and I got married we were living in Orlando. I had a good job and we were happy family (with our two small ones.) Our small town was booming as a result of the Disney World. I didn’t like the change in our small town and I became discouraged about my job and the future of our family.
I became cynical about a lot of things. I became unsettled and wanted to get away from the crowds and isolate my young family from the evils of the world. I wanted to isolate myself.
I wanted to withdraw from everyone. Family, friends and even church. I became skeptical of the everything. At the time, I hadn’t seen this passage. But if I had of, I would have said,
“See here, even Jesus didn’t trust people!”
But now that I have grown a little older and wiser, I have to ask myself a different question: “What does this mean?”
This passage could confuse any of us. I mean, doesn’t Jesus love us? Does this mean He did like what He saw in man?
We need to consider the real meaning of the phrase, “commit/entrust Himself”. The word actually means to “have faith in”. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t trust or care about man, but He knew better than to put His faith in mankind.
So what is the difference?
Jesus did not determine who He was by what men had to say about Him. Jesus knew the people He was ministering to.
He knew that one day they all would turn away and reject Him.
Some would be saying, “I never knew Him.” Or, “Crucify Him!”
Jesus never based His love He had for men, women, boys and girls, by the love they had for Him. His love was unconditional.
Jesus loved people of the New Testament and people like you and I, because HE was sent to all of us by His heavenly Father.
We know John 3:16
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When Jesus came to die for man, He did not rely on the response of man. Jesus knew beforehand that man would reject Him. Jesus was relying on His Father for his confidence and trust.
Jesus knew how fickled and disloyal even His followers would be.
But He choose to love each of us selflessly, without expecting any love in return. Jesus did not expect love in exchange with man.
Why? Because His eyes were on His Father, not man.
Man’s love (with few exceptions) is always conditional.
God’s love (with no exceptions) is always unconditional.
Here is what happens to us when we are disappointed:
1. We want something.
2. When we don’t get what we want, we become disappointed or even discouraged.
3. We then begin to distrust others because of the disappointment.
4. The result is we quinch the “love of God” from being “poured out in our hearts”.
Don’t we find it the hardest to love those who we expect the most from? That is, family, friends and especially church people.
I naturally expect more from those dearest to me. When they disappoint me, I am hurt more than I would have been with a neighbor, etc… Part of the reason is we are suppose to value our relationship more with the Lord than any one here in this world.
But we don’t. Do we?
It is only normal for us to be more influenced by our relationship with others than our relationship with the Lord.
This is what has to change.
Jesus is our example for us with His Grace that is so hard for us to understand. We are going to work on that.
Consider Genesis 2. Man was with the Lord in the Garden of Eden. He had a one on one relationship with the Father like we can only imagine. This is the relationship we all are looking for with God. Right?
Well what did God say? He said,
“It is not good that man should be alone.”
And this is before there was any sin.