Jesus Did Not Commit Himself
"Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." (John 2:23-25) It is impossible to know how many people believed on Jesus during his brief ministry. Numerous time's scripture records that "many believed on Him." On one occasion, the people were so enamored with Jesus, they sought to take him by force and make him a king. (John 6:15) There were times of great popularity with Jesus as the people came to see his miracles and hear his teaching. By the third year of his ministry, the opposition had begun. As Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12) the people "took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! `Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!" (John 12:13) It was just a few days later, Jesus was crucified on the cross.
The reason Jesus did not commit himself to man is he knew their hearts. The fickle nature of man would have him praising and honoring the Christ on one day and rise up to kill him on the next. In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes the heart of men who commit themselves to the gospel at the first and then in the face of trials, wither away. "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away." (Matthew 13:3-6) He explains later, "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles." (Matthew 13:20,21)
Christ would not commit himself to men whose hearts were not wholly committed to him. The reason opposition began to increase for Jesus is because of the nature of his teaching. He taught that to follow him a price would have to be paid - and the price was high. "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me ... If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple ... So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." (Matthew 16:24; Luke 14:26,33)
Such is the price to be paid for discipleship today. Jesus will not commit to those who put their hand to the plow and begin to look backward. "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62) Our life of service to Christ is one of full dedication and completeness. The life of the Christian is not measured by a 50% effort or even a 75% effort. It demands 100% of our allegiance to the cause of Christ with no turning back.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus described the way of truth as hard and difficult and that few would find. (Matthew 7:13,14) Few will be saved for few will endure. "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:13) The great discerner of the heart knows the hearts of all men. What does he see when he looks at your heart?
By Kent E. Heaton Sr.
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