John 2:24-25 (ESV) – 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.
We often have to let God’s revealed Word override our own personal feelings. This happens in many ways. One way is when we tend to categorize people from our experiences as good or bad. Nice or mean. This isn’t totally wrong or imprudent, but we have to keep a close reminder near our hearts that in God’s eyes, our distinctions aren’t as far apart as we tend to believe.
Our text reminds us today that there aren’t really good and bad people in God’s eyes. It would be more accurate to say there is a sliding scale of bad. We have bad people, really bad people, and terrible people. But notice the commonality: everyone is bad.
We don’t like to hear this, or even acknowledge it, but the Bible makes this clear. Jesus knew it and believed it too. John reminds us about Jesus’ understanding of mankind in John 2. He writes, “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.”
Jesus didn’t entrust Himself to the crowds. What does that mean? He didn’t trust their words, motives, promises, or friendly dispositions. He didn’t take them at face value. Why is that? Because He knew all people. He knows mankind, after all, He made us. And notice John’s words, “he himself knew what was in man.”
What does that mean? It means that Jesus knows the nature of men. He knows our wickedness and sin. Jesus knows all people. There is no distinction. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We’re all guilty rebels. Jesus knows that even on our best days and our biggest promises, we fall short. This kept Jesus from entrusting Himself to the crowds. But it also takes us back to my beginning statements. We think there is a distinction between people as good or bad. In reality, we’re all bad people in desperate need of the grace of God and forgiveness of Christ. So don’t look down on others. Remember that the worst person you know needs everything you are in need of. You are more like them than you are like Jesus.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does it mean that Jesus knew all people?
- How does this passage inform us about the nature of mankind?
- In what ways does a passage like this shape your view of grace?
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