They Believed in Him,
But Jesus Did Not Entrust Himself to Them
The rain falls on the good and the evil (Matthew 5:45). It is a wonderful assurance that the goodness of God is not limited to those who have everything together. When we see people hurting, we don’t have to ask them to get right with God before He will meet their needs. As ambassadors of God’s goodness and of reconciliation with His lost children, we can feel free to release the goodness of God others.
We see throughout the gospels accounts of Jesus freely blessings people. He fed the 5,000. He healed the sick. He drove out demons. Never once did Jesus set a requirement that they must stop sinning or believe He was the redeeming sacrifice before He blessed others.
In turn we see multitudes following Jesus. Are these loyal followers? No. Jesus knew they followed Him because of the miracles and the good things He brought. When Jesus didn’t say what they liked or didn’t do what they wanted, they turned on Him (John 6:66 & John 19:15).
While Jesus did freely bless others, He didn’t freely entrust Himself to them. In John 2 we read this interesting account where many people, observing the signs Jesus was doing, believed in His name. But, on His part, Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25).
Why Did Jesus Not Entrust Himself to Them?
I think it is important to think through why Jesus withheld Himself to these people. Will He do the same to us? Does He never entrust Himself?
This last question should be removed quickly. At the end of His ministry Jesus tells His disciples that He now called them friends because He made known to them everything He heard from His father (John 15:15). So we see that He entrusted Himself to the disciples. And, what was given to the disciples is available for us to attain.
What Made the Disciples Different?
After feeding the 5,000, we again see many believing in Him, but Jesus decided to walk across water in the middle of the night to get away from them (John 6:25-27). Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, but it is because the multitudes didn’t entrust themselves to Jesus.
The disciples gave Jesus their lives. When many of the followers left Jesus, the disciples hung in there. They may not have understood Him completely, but they knew His words had life and there was nowhere else they wanted to go (John 6:68-69).
Entrusting ourselves with Jesus looks like being all in. He wants us to come to the place where He can lead us into the unknown. We may not know where we are going, but we trust Him.
Understand the Heart of Jesus and the Role of Blessings
God loves you. He wants to give you good things (James 1:17). What we see from this passage in John is that while we are to enjoy the gifts, let us not ignore the Giver. The good gifts Jesus wants to give you may not be the gifts for which you are looking. Will you still trust Him?
The multitudes wanted Jesus to become king and overthrow the Romans. Jesus was a king, but wanted to overthrow satan. His gift was better, but for many they missed it looking for something else.
In prayer we ask God for His blessings. If we didn’t believe He was willing to give, we wouldn’t draw near to Him. The balance is that we trust His heart for us. We may not get what we ask, but having come to Him we are gaining more of Him. We can’t separate the gifts from God because He is a giver. We also can’t command Him to give because He is still God. When we treat Him as God and thank Him for His gifts, we open ourselves up to have Him entrust more of Himself to us. Let us seek first the kingdom of God, then all of these things will be given to us (Matthew 6:33). Are we willing to be all in?
This is so a good message. A confirmation of what i discussed this week with friends but this has more depth. We were discussing about God answering prayers….we established that no prince of Persia or any other force can hinder our prayers, that all our prayers (according to Gods will) always get answered. Then we went ahead to speak about trusting and waiting on God (which many will see as ‘delay’). Thereafter, we talked about how we think God didn’t answer but then He did in a way we didn’t expect. For example, i asked God to visit me and He did through His Word but i would miss it if i were expecting some sort of thunders and mighty rushing wind as usual….
God is true. His Word is true. Even though i do have a thousand and one questions, i choose to be all in and trust the Giver of all gifts.
Thank you coach for being the vessel through whom God has confirmed his words to me.
What do you thing about what i and my friends discussed especially the hindrance part?
Thank you for your comment. I don’t know if you mean for you personally or in general with regards to hindering prayers. I do believe that there is an enemy that can hinder our prayers. I don’t believe they can stop the answer, but in some sense I believe they can hinder. I know your example of the prince of Persia is an Old Testament example, but Paul does say we fight with principalities and spiritual forces. I don’t think we need to spend a good deal focusing on this. My philosophy is that the Holy Spirit will let me know if there is something going on we need to deal with.
As for the rest of your comment, I agree. There are times when God has us wait, and there are times when we just miss His answer. I think the big thing is to try to keep an open ear to the Holy Spirit. He will keep us on the right path and right timing.
Let me know if I brought up more questions. 🙂 Hope this helps.
No coach, good answers because i kept on having thoughts also about the spiritual being in charge of the physical. Thank you…. i need to learn how to hear from the Holy Spirit.