Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. (John 2:23–25)
Crowds of people flocked to Jesus. Once He arrived at the Temple during the season of Passover, and the crowds were mesmerized by the sermons He preached and miracles He performed.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to manage is success. Once you have fame, money, or power, it seems like people rush in to be near you and to benefit from you. Jesus, however, did not try to please everyone or build a relationship with everyone. Why? Because, “He himself knew what was in a man.”
The Bible often says that people look at what’s outside (appearance, age, beauty, race, gender, income, etc.) while God looks at what’s inside (motives, thoughts, feelings, etc.). The problem when it comes to relationships is that since we cannot see what’s in someone, we can easily err in one of two ways.
One, naïve people basically trust anyone and everyone. They begin by assuming that people are good until they are proven bad. Naïve people trust quickly, have few boundaries, and are vulnerable. Naïve people can get used and abused quite easily.
Two, paranoid people basically trust on one. They begin by assuming that people are bad and assume the worst of others. Paranoid people have a lot of fears, and under those fears are often hurts caused by being abandoned, betrayed, used, and abused.
But there is a third option. Discerning people trust some people but not all people. Discerning people love quickly but build trust slowly. Discerning people love all people, but have friendships with few people. Jesus models for us relational health and wisdom as a discerning person. Large crowds flock to Him and want a close relationship with Him: If Jesus were naïve, He would have allowed this to happen. If Jesus were paranoid, He would have not allowed anyone to join His ministry and kept them all at arm’s-length. Instead, Jesus was discerning.
How about you? Are you more naïve or more paranoid? How can you become more discerning and relationally health like Jesus Christ?