MITRA: Jesus can discriminate when dealing with people
“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 above words form part of the record of a set of circumstances analogous to those in which we find ourselves at times — a large company gathered round about Christ, expressing their attitude to Him and revealing His responsive attitude to them.
It is a singular fact that Christ has no faith in some men’s faith.
It is a startling consideration that many believe in Him, while He has no belief in them.
It is a strange and solemn truth in its implicate of warning to every one of us, that there is a faith to which He makes no response, a professed belief in the presence of which the Lord is strangely and significantly silent.
The thing to be guarded against, not only in the present, but right along the whole of our pilgrim pathway, is that kind of so-called faith to which Jesus only responds by silence
How discriminating Christ is and how characteristic this is of His entire dealings with men.
He draws men, and then divides them.
He wins men to a hearing of His message, and then winnows them.
Jesus, wherever He is lifted up, draws all men to Him.
Then, each man as he comes finds himself at a judgment-seat.
No person can long be insincere in the presence of Christ.
Right through His life, this quality of discrimination characterised Jesus.
For instance:“Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Then again: “They brought young children to Him and the disciples would drive them back.”
But, Jesus rebuked not those who brought them, but those who would exclude them.
There is no realm of our being in which this discriminating power of Christ is so entirely important, not only for our notice, but for our obedience and, for the guidance of our moral and spiritual actions, as just here in the realm of faith.
John, in his gospel account above, also talks about an “untrusted faith” — “but He did not commit Himself to them.”
It has been true in every ae and it is true essentially in our own present age, that there is in faith’s name a recrudescence of a curious seeking for signs.
There are large numbers who will only believe in Jesus today if their faith can be somehow buttressed by some visible sign.
Many among us tempt Him, asking signs from heaven which, when they are granted, have little, if anything, to identify them with the simplicity that is in Christ.
When we know of God’s own children being led aside into believing that physical signs could be used to support faith, it is enough to make angels weep.
Anything which elevates subjective experience above scriptural expression could cause the very elect.
Let us beware of anything which tends to remove us from the simplicity that is in Jesus.
Let us move on from these considerations to that committal of Himself which John’s words record as being withheld by Jesus.
There is a dual committal of which the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.”
In the next breath he said: “Keep that which has been committed to you” — a reciprocal committal.
“When I commit myself entirely in a simple faith to Christ, He commits Himself, and these words are too poor to describe the mystery of it all, Christ committing Himself to me.”
Jesus commits Himself to us for the protection of His reputation in the world.
We are charged with the responsibility of so living that our lives emphasize and set forth in brilliant conspicuousness the characteristics of the Lord’s own perfect love, generosity, sympathy and understanding of men.
Well does the apostle speak of it as “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
If He commits Himself to us, He commits Himself not only to is commencement, but to its continuance and completion.
Sign-supported faith is not adequate to the life that is involved in so protecting His name, interpreting His Word and completing His work in the world.
The faith which has not its “anchor within the veil,” the faith which clings not though it sees Him not, the faith supported by the merely subjective and external — such faith will not be able to stand the shock of the world’s opposition and the devil’s malignity.
The poor, broken, stained, and maimed life which has somehow come to realize itself and its Lord — to such as one will Christ commit Himself.
And, what He does, it shall be for ever.
KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should be between 600 and 800 words in length and include a headshot of the author, along with a short bio on the writer. Submissions can be sent via email to email@example.com.