The Aloofness of Jesus
John 2:23-25 MKJV And as He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, at the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which He did. (24) But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all (25) and did not need that anyone should testify of man. For He knew what was in man.
Jesus is aloof from the mass of the people at the Passover, they believed in Jesus but Jesus did not believe in them – because He knew they would crucify Him in the end. Thus Jesus tells us not to trust in unregenerate human nature, it will always let us down.
Jesus knew what was in fallen humanity so fully and so completely that He did not need anyone to tell Him about human nature - because He “knew all”. And what did He say is inside us prior to Christ? It is not a pretty picture:
Mark 7:20-23 MKJV And He said, That which comes out of the man is what defiles the man. (21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things pass out from inside and defile the man.
Jeremiah 17:9 MKJV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
Ecclesiastes 9:3 HCSB This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: there is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live--after that they go to the dead.
The average “Joe Smith” is thoroughly self-centered and runs their life inwardly writing a story with themselves as the center of all things – with the selfish trinity of “I myself and me” starring as mini-gods and super-heroes.
Now, even in the Old Testament there is also an opposing picture – that of the renewed heart, the faithful heart, the heart after God and so on, but it is a much rarer picture.
Non-Christians may do many good things and even approve of spiritual things, however it is woven into their self-congratulating story. Repentance is giving up one’s self-deceit and sin and madness and folly and becoming God-congratulating instead.
What goes on in our heads is not harmless. The fantasies of money, sex or power, the plots of revenge, the desire to kill, the envy of the rich and famous, and the scheming to attain that which is not rightfully ours, the love of comfort and luxury and the careless disregard of others, elitism, pride, superiority, covetousness, these all are things far from the truth of the gospel.
Our inner world is not serene and consistent – in fact it is a right bird’s nest of beliefs we have picked up over the years, of desires and plans and vows and opinions that the Bible calls “the thoughts and intents of the heart”. Along with our good intentions are some bad intentions and angry intentions and so forth. Most people can happily have one belief system on Sunday and another at work on Monday morning.
The ability to operate in two contradictory belief systems is what James calls “double-mindedness”. (James 1:5-8) This double-mindedness is always rebuked by the prophets from Joshua's "choose which day who you will serve" (Joshua 24:15) to Elijah's "how long will you falter between two opinions" (1Kings 18:21) to Jesus and "you cannot serve God and Mammon" (Matthew 6:21-24) to James and his exhortations against double-mindedness and worldliness. (James 1:5-8; 4:1-7).
Jesus knew all this and still loved us! Jesus knew about our most disgusting, vile, mean and covetous and treacherous thoughts and still died for us! Jesus did not say because you deserve I would be kind to you! No, he said because I know your need of a Savior I will die for you!
Jesus knows all your stuff! He knows the websites you visit, the foolishness you think, the fantasies you have, and the dreams that fill your mind. He still loves you just as you are but He sure wants to clean up the junk that is in your head and in your heart. The article I out at the start of today’s devotional can really help you with that as can the entire Biblical EQ ebook you can download at http://www.globalchristians.org/beq/index.html (it is free).
The Holy Spirit wants to get into the closet and throw out the non-God belief system/s that are there. He will throw out materialism, he will jettison all pornography, and He will rewire your ambitions and rework your ideas of success and of leadership to more biblical models.
If you want God to trust you then you have to allow Him to clean up your inner world. Jesus stood aloof from the unregenerate human heart but He is close to those whose hearts are purified by the blood of Christ – for the pure in heart shall see and behold God. (Matthew 5:8)
Blessings in Jesus,