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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

MANY BELIEVED IN HIS NAME

John 2:23-25 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles, which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man.

The purpose Jesus came to Jerusalem was to observe the annual celebration of the feast day, known as the Jews' Passover (Vs. 13). Undoubtedly, while in Jerusalem for this Jewish event, Jesus continued to preach and teach about the eminent coming of God's kingdom to all Jewish people that gathered to hear His prophetic discourses. Of those that heard Jesus' spiritual lessons, the lesson text tells us that many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles, which He did. Although they were not specifically described, it was the miracles that He demonstrated in their presence that confirmed, to the Jewish people in Jerusalem, that Jesus as a man of God. Although Jesus' message was not fully revealed, the new doctrine, which He taught, was heard, believed, and accepted only by those that placed their complete trust in Him. This trust was established and confirmed by the miracles He performed - miracles that could not have possibly been performed by a mere, uninspired human being.

As we read into the chapter following the lesson text, we realize that the people recognized Jesus as a teacher come from God, but not as the Messiah, the Son of God, and Savior of the world. And why was He believed and accepted as a Godly teacher? It was because they knew that no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him (See John 3:2). Because they didn't believe Him to be the promised Messiah, Jesus did not commit Himself unto them. In other words, without their complete faith in Him as the Son of God, Jesus refused to fully reveal Himself to them. Neither did He reveal the full nature of the kingdom, which He came to institute. (B)ecause He knew all men, He knew that they were not willing to accept the spiritual kingdom He was about to establish, since they so profoundly expected an earthly king to rule over the Jewish nation.

The wise man, Solomon, recognized this human characteristic of all men and women of the world. In the twenty-first proverb, he revealed this bit of wisdom about all mankind: Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts (Prov. 21:2). This was exactly the character trait exhibited by these Jews, including Jesus' own disciples. They had an unyielding belief that the promised Messiah would come from the seed of David, establish an earthly kingdom, protect and provide for the Jewish nation, and command the Gentile world to serve them. But just as the proverb continues, God, and His Son Jesus Christ, by their all-knowing, omniscience power, can see into the hearts of mankind. The Jews, especially their leaders, remained unmovable in their self-righteous beliefs because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (See John 12:42-43). Indeed Jesus knew the thoughts of all to whom He met, taught, and contended with. Here is only a sample of New Testament scriptures which testifies to this fact: Matt. 9:4; 12:25; Luke 6:8; John 6:64.

The last verse of the lesson text continues to confirm the hardheartedness of the Jewish people by saying that they needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. Jesus did not need the biased testimony of any man to justify theirown stubborn, self-willed beliefs, or these same characteristics of others. He could see into their hearts and minds and knew what their true motives were. The writer of the Hebrew letter confirms that God, and by inference, His Son, Jesus Christ, knows the hearts of all mankind. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13).

The danger of hardheartedness was prevalent during all dispensation ages of the world. Here we know it took place during the Jewish era. This New Testament scripture gives Christians this warning, and is still a threat to New Testament Christianity. We find this warning Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; while it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (Heb. 3:12-15).