John 2:23-25 “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.”
It’s easy to fool men. People always go for the flashy, the popular, the successful. We are so easily impressed by signs and wonders. Scripture tells us plainly to watch out for the flashy and superficial; “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10)
What saves? How do we resist temptation and being deceived? Let’s follow Jesus’ example! John Wesley tells us; “He did not trust himself to them – Let us learn hence not rashly to put ourselves into the power of others. Let us study a wise and happy medium between universal suspiciousness and that easiness which would make us the property of every pretender to kindness and respect.”
Jesus wasn’t fooled and can’t be fooled. When Satan tried to tempt Him in the wilderness, Jesus resisted every temptation by the power of Scripture. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus didn’t fight back with His own miracles or signs for heavenly hosts. No Jesus depended on His Word and used the most powerful defence available to all believers; “It is written . . . ” (Matthew 4:4,7,10)
And the same is true of those who follow Him; “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27,28) And here is the test of commitment; Do you believe in His Word enough to live by them? This is a very relevant test for our day because of the coming of the lawless one. If we fail it, we serve a false god and forfeit the very thing we claim!
There will be lying signs and wonders to confuse and draw people away; “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) Easy commitment comes out of being won over by showy, flashy worldly success. This lying success comes in the material wealth of the world and carnal religious pomp and fanfare. All these things pretend to be the work and will of God. Yet Jesus tells us; “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29)
It’s that simple and that difficult. Jesus put it to His disciples; ” “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” (John 14:23,24) What a blessing! By loving Jesus through obedience to His Word, He will live with us NOW and not just when we go to heaven to be with Him.
What a relief to the believer! We don’t have to be ‘mightily used’ by God. We don’t have to plant a mega church or save at least one other soul per week. No quotas, no requirements of demonstrating charismatic gifts or hoopla of any sort. We ‘just’ have to live by His teachings. Again, Jesus tells us; ” . . . blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)
No wonder Satan wants us to chase our tails, slaving to do works that demonstrate our own worthiness. No wonder Satan wants to raise the religious bar with lying signs and wonders of worldly success. Jesus tells us that He will give nothing to this false world; “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4)
What would happen if we let the Word out that we are saved not because we’re so worthy but because He is? “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
What would happen if we let the Word out that Jesus is gentle with people who are hurting and broken? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Can we just be committed to His Word? How life would change if we just believed Him!
Praise the Lord!