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?