Jesus Doesn’t “Believe” In People

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.  But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting 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 NASB)

It seems Jesus has a wide range of acceptance in a very wide range of people.  There are those who read the accounts of His life and say they’re made up and He was just a nice guy.  There are others who those same accounts and are completely consumed by Jesus as the Savior of all creation.  I love this account of Jesus though.  It helps me work with and among the spectrum of people reading or hearing those accounts.

Jesus was disillusioned about people in that He held no illusions about them.  I can’t tell you how much I want that.  People still surprise me.  I still want or expect more from them.  They still disappoint me.  I still disappoint them too, and I am even often disappointed in myself as well.  I once told some youth in our church that people suck, and if we didn’t we couldn’t use a straw.  It’s strange important truth.

The application for me is that I can’t nor should I trust people to be anything but people.  Instead, I can and must trust in the Holy Spirit and His work in and through people.  It’s not the people, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit in and through people that makes church possible.  It may seem semantic but I had a huge test of this in my personal life just this week.

Did you know that commercial leases obligate the guarantors for the entire financial value of the lease?  I didn’t.  I found that out and experienced “sticker shock”.  As an elder at my church I was being asked to sign a lease obligating me to $272,160 which is more than the total assets entrusted to me by my Master.  If I trusted in the people of this church who have a track-record of pitiful giving, then I’d be in big trouble; I wouldn’t be able to sign it.  But I did sign because I trust in the work of the Holy Spirit in and through the lives of the people and His work in this place of worship.  Still, it wasn’t easy.

I needed this example of Jesus.  I needed to know I didn’t need to believe in people to minister to them and on their behalf.  I have other lessons to learn, like resisting the temptation to use the signing of the lease as that line of delineation between the committed and the uncommitted.  It’s not.  That’s not what my Master intended.  The Holy Spirit does not use such things to divide, He uses them to unite.  I know that because that is what the Holy Spirit does, He unifies His people.

What do you learn from Jesus’ disillusionment with people?