John – The Gospel of Grace (11)

Jesus knows the real you!

At the end of the second chapter of John’s gospel is a stark reminder that you can’t fool God. I can fool you and you can fool me but neither of us can fool God. Jesus knows our hearts.

 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25)

Jesus “knew all people…” and “knew what was in man”. This is a truth I think we soon forget. Have you ever done something that you knew was wrong and you tried to make sure the pastor or the deacons or other church folk didn’t know? I believe almost all of us have. The truth is Jesus knows us from the inside out.

How many times have we seen this happen or read about it in the Bible. People “believed” because they saw what Jesus did but He didn’t believe them.

In our churches there are possessors and professors, there are believers and impostors, tares among the wheat. I have seen people who were eager to be baptized, were emphatic about the profession of their faith, they then left the water and never came back. Every evangelist knows that only a percentage of those who “go forward” during a campaign will follow through and actually submit to public baptism and of those some will eventually go away.

This same author said in 1 John 2:19

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

The proof is in the pudding as they say. If they don’t stick around other believers, some where, they are probably like these folks John referenced in his writings. They were superficial believers, they were not surrendered to the Christ. It is one thing to believe historically that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead. It is quite another to believe in such a way that your life changes course (repentance) in radical ways (discipleship).

The Scriptures seem consistent on this topic. Those who are truly disciples of Jesus sick it out through good times and bad. They persevere. The Christ life that we are called to life entails continual submission, dying daily to self, and practicing certain Christian disciplines.

We cannot live for Jesus and endure hardship on our own, using our own resources.

…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

Keep the faith!

Royce Ogle

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