About Jesus Steve Sweetman
I think that some of us
view Jesus while He was on earth as one who gave His whole heart and
soul completely to anyone who crossed His path.
Although I don't consider Jesus to be politically or socially
liberal, some liberals may view Him as the ultimate "bleeding
heart", a term sometimes associated with social and political
liberals because of their perceived social concerns.
In one sense of the word Jesus' heart did bleed as He gave
Himself on the cross for liberals and conservatives alike.
Whatever the case, I think John 2:23 to 25 speaks to this issue.
It reads. "Now
while Jesus was in
Jesus had just entered Jerusalem. The crowd was going out of
their minds over Him because of the miracles He had been performing.
In the minds of many in the crowd Jesus was the hottest new
superstar revolutionary in town. They
expected Him to use His supernatural power to lead the mother of all
revolts against Rome.
Maybe you're old enough
to remember February 7, 1964. Throngs
of teenage girls screamed, cried, and even fainted, at the sight of the
Beatles arriving in
Jesus wasn't fazed by all
this attention and adoration because according to John He knew the
sinful condition of man. His
new found fans could turn on Him at the drop of a denarius.
A denarius is a Roman coin. Flattery,
fame, and cheers from the crowd, meant absolutely nothing to Jesus.
His goal at that precise moment was to conquer a far greater
enemy than Rome.
The Greek word "pisteuo"
is translated as "entrust" in John 2:23 to 25.
The New Testament translates "pisteuo" as "to
believe, to have faith, to trust", along with other such related
words. In the context of
John 2 "pisteuo", means "to give one's self to another in
a trusting and meaningful relationship".
It's clear from this passage that Jesus did not give His heart
and soul to just anyone who crossed His path.
The cross proved He loved those in the crowd, but He refused to
enter into a meaningful relationship with them.
There was no way that He'd bare His heart and soul to those He
couldn't trust. Before He'd
even consider doing such a thing they'd have to repent, receive His
forgiveness, and be reconciled to Him.
There is no meaningful relationship with anyone apart from
meaningful repentance and trust.
Jesus understood the
meaning of Proverbs 4:23. The
NIV reads; "Above all things, guard your heart, for everything you
do flows from it". The
KJV reads; "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are
the issues of life". The
point of this proverb is simple. Whoever
or whatever is important and valuable in your life is a matter of your
heart. Maybe it's your wife,
your husband, your children, your career, your church, or, maybe it's
your car. The fact of the
matter is that whoever or whatever is important or valuable; you feel
its impact in your heart. Superficial
things don't tug at your heart's emotions as these meaningful things do.
That's why this proverb encourages us to guard our hearts against
intruders. In other words,
keep a close watch on your heart. Be
careful who or what you let into it.
Be careful to whom or what you expose it. Not
everyone will care for your heart as you do.
Even though Jesus loved
all mankind as He entered Jerusalem
that day, He would not bare his heart and soul to all mankind.
He knew man could shred His heart into a thousand pieces if given
the chance. The only ones He
gave Himself completely to in a meaningful relationship were those His
Father gave him, and even then His heart was pierced with pain at times.
We can learn from this.
We are to love those who cross our path, but that doesn't mean we
hand our hearts and souls over to every Tom, Dick, Mary, or Sue.
We entrust ourselves in a meaningful relationship to those whom
our heavenly Father has joined us. If
one turns out to be a Judas, we guard the entrance of our heart and hang
a sign saying "repent and be reconciled".
Most doctors will tell
you that they can't afford to allow the daily grind of sickness to
penetrate their hearts. If
they did, depression would prevent them from effectively helping those
in need. As Christians we
can't afford to allow sinful humanity to rip our hearts into a mangled
mess. If we do, we can't
effectively help those in need of a Saviour.
Those in the crowd who
went crazy over Jesus were caught up in the misguided excitement of the
moment. They weren't
interested in giving their hearts and souls to Him in a meaningful
relationship, so He couldn't give His heart and soul to them in return. If
Jesus couldn't entrust Himself to those who can't be trusted, neither
should we. As my paraphrase
of the proverbs states, "guard your heart the best you can because
everything you hold dear in life is found in your heart".