Jesus Not For Sale | John 2.23-25
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 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. John 2:23-25 | ESV
And so Jesus stayed on in Jerusalem during that “Lamb’s Ordeal” celebration, the feast we know as Passover, and as he did so, many people loudly bought into him, embracing him, his message, his mission, especially as they watched him quietly performing sign after confirming sign right before their eyes.
They might have been buying, but Jesus wasn’t selling – he wasn’t counting on their loud affirmations of belief and support. He knew this crowd. He saw right through them. In fact, he never had need for anyone to give him the low-down on a single soul.
He was totally tracking with the inner workings of humankind. MAV
“Christ labored for thirty years in a humble carpenter’s shop to fulfill God’s will. And God wills that in imitation of Christ, man should live and walk humbly on earth, not reaching for the sky, but bowing to humble things, learning from the Gospels to be meek and humble of heart.” ~ van Gogh
Evasive. Enigmatic. Non-committal. Perhaps not the descriptors we would normally associate with Jesus. But they fit. The ancient proverb states, “The fool utters all that is in his heart, but the wise have the wisdom to show restraint.” Jesus shared himself and his heart carefully, thoughtfully, sparingly. It’s a good lesson for us in our day of social media and our post-everything-you’re-feeling-at-this-moment-on-the-world-wide-web-in-all-caps culture. As Jesus performed healings in the cleared temple courtyards, the thronging crowds had the ultimate sugar high from all the eye candy. They were ready to buy Jesus, to go all in for him, come what may (and, of course, it would be more miracles that would come!). But Jesus wasn’t selling. His practice when in Jerusalem seems to have been slipping into their midst with a sudden dramatic presence followed by public discourse and dialogue accompanied by miracles scattered like seed all over the temple grounds, leaving everyone hanging on him – but then he would detach, pulling away into obscurity. The great disappearing act. If they were buying, he clearly wasn’t selling. He wasn’t angling for a crowd, nor when getting one did he seek to keep it, to use it, to manipulate it. And he certainly didn’t read the local press to weigh their many public pronouncements about him, nor did he conduct opinion polls. Jesus knew who he was. He didn’t need their high opinions to confirm anything, because he didn’t trust those opinions to begin with. “He knew what was in man.” And he loved them anyway. He loves us anyway. It’s quite a powerful combination, these two knowings. To know who you are, and to know what humanity is in its glories and its failings. Talk about freedom! “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” Such is holy ground. And from such holy ground, we can do anything.
How dependent would you say you are on the opinions and “buy in” of others? What is the source of this dependency? How can you experience greater freedom?
Lord, set me free from unhealthy dependence on the opinions and estimations of others, and from an equally unhealthy arrogant disregard for what anyone else has to say; center me in you, ground me in the reality of your life and love; make me a temple in which you dwell, and in which the outsider, the stranger, the widow, the orphan, the enslaved, are served. Through Christ.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.