About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Your Valued Heart


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 Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and believed in His name.  But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men.  He did not need man's testimony about man, for He knew what was in a man".  What did John mean when he said that Jesus "would not entrust Himself to man"?  Did Jesus' heart only bleed in death or did it bleed in life as well?


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 New York City for the first time.  Beatle mania hit New York hard that day.  Jesus mania hit Jerusalem pretty hard too; and why not?  A mere touch of Jesus' hand or maybe even a glance in your direction might be the thrill of a lifetime.  It Jesus could raise the dead from their graves He shouldn't have any problem sending a legion of Roman soldiers to their grave.      


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".  


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