Jesus the Discerner of Hearts – John 2
“13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[n]
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[o] 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” John 2:13-34 NIV
We will focus on an obscure part of the Scripture in this devotion. Specifically, verses 23-25 of John 2. We see here that while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, there were many people who saw the signs (not miracles) he was performing, and as a result, the “believed in His name.”
They saw the signs and believed. But here’s an interesting part of the passage. We see in verse 24 that Jesus “would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.”
Here are two key truths we can identify here.
1 – Jesus is the discerner of hearts.
Too many times in our modern western theology, we preach a salvation based message with a drive so that men and women would “believe in His name.” We teach that the turning point in people’s faith is when they believes in His name, which is true, but we need to understand the Gospel is so much more than coming to Jesus for what He can give us.
Jesus knew that those who seek miraculous proof that Jesus is real and loves them search for physical, material, or financial verification of His reality have a rather flimsy faith. The problem with relying on signs is that if things don’t happen the way we want it to, our faith will fail. Our faith cannot be built on what Jesus does, but on who He is.
We don’t often preach that Jesus was the discerner of hearts. We see clearly from the text in John 2, that He didn’t entrust Himself to people just because they saw the signs and believed in His name.
While Jesus loved all people, John 2:23-25 tells us that Jesus didn’t entrust Himself to all people. He didn’t entrust Himself to those who believed in Him only for what He could give them because “He knew all people.” Jesus did not need any testimony about mankind, John tells us, “for he knew what was in each person.”
This seems hard to comprehend of Jesus, but can you love people without entrusting yourself to them? Since Jesus is the discerner of hearts, we need to ask the next question. Can Jesus entrust Himself to you? There were many people back then, like today who come to Jesus and believe in Him with their own agenda. They want something from Him. It could be a certain promotion, a healing, or salvation from hell.
Here’s how the New Living Translation states it:
“24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.” John 2:24-25 NLT
Jesus didn’t trust them. For two reasons:
A – Jesus knew all about people.
B – Jesus knew what was in each person’s heart.
Since Jesus knows all about people and He knows what is in each person’s heart, He made the decision. Though He loved all, He didn’t entrust Himself to all. This brings us to the question of this devotion.
2 – Can Jesus entrust Himself to you?
Do you come to Jesus only for what He can give you? Can He entrust Himself to you? Do you come to Jesus because of who He is or what He can do?
John shows us that Jesus Christ cannot commit Himself to the kind of faith that is simply an admiration of the spectacular. He does not entrust Himself to those who make it their unspoken purpose to get from Him what they can. The Son of God looks for hearts fully committed to Him. He looks to strengthen those who commit their hearts to Him… those who recognize Him as greater than what He can give.
“9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV
The Message says it this way.
“God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.”
When was the last time you came to Jesus, NOT asking for anything? When was the last time you came to Jesus only to worship Him? When was the last time you acknowledged that He is greater than your problems, greater than your dreams, greater than your desires, greater than your plans?
Jesus is the discerner of hearts. When He discerns your heart, can He entrust Himself to you?
Quicken my heart dear Jesus to always be fully committed to You… not for what You can do, but for who You are… the Son of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.