From the Darkness of His Heart
23 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. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
I often have difficulty understanding why chapter and verse breaks come where they do. This is a perfect example. Either start a new chapter or continue the first 21 verses of chapter three with chapter two. Why do I mention this? Because our three verses above actually start the story of Nicodemus. This is the same Passover where Jesus had just cleansed the temple and where the disciples were telling all that would listen about the miracle of turning the water into wine.
Both the disciple’s description of the water into wine and Jesus act of cleansing the temple created quite the stir, for as the text reads, “Many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
It would seem apparent from this statement that Jesus must have done more than cleanse the temple, for the implication is He performed miracles, but there is no Biblical record of what miracles He performed. The next miracle that John describes in his gospel is that which takes place at the close of Jesus Judean ministry during the second Passover celebration. We find this in John 5:1-9.
John makes it clear that 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.” He could read the thoughts of those around Him, He knew their spiritual condition and understood that if he openly revealed himself to be the messiah he would actually cripple his work instead of helping.
You see, the people had a wrong idea of who the Messiah was going to be. They all expected the Messiah to be a conquering hero. One who would drive the hated Romans out of the promised land and return Israel to national greatness. So Jesus did not openly announce who he was, he let the people reason it out for themselves.
I mentioned a moment ago, that Jesus knew what each person felt in their hearts. I am in no way trying to limit the power of Jesus but believe that Jesus new these things because He was in continual communication with His heavenly Father, which revealed to Jesus what Jesus needed to know and do.
It was this communication, this continual communication between Christ and God the Father that gave Christ the power to perform the miracles and to withstand the temptations Satan brought His way.
This same power to resist sin is granted to each of us that daily, sometimes hourly and even minute by minute, keep in contact with our heavenly Father asking for power to resist temptation, and the power to sustain our Christian walk through life. When we have this type of relationship with our heavenly Father, then same power Christ had will be given us.
All this must have made a tremendous impact on those around Jesus, for among those that heard the disciples speak of the miracle at the wedding and also witnessed the cleansing of the temple was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
More modern or better translations of the Bible begin verse one of chapter three by finishing the thought started in the last three verses of chapter two by saying Now there was a man.
The metaphors run deep in this section for verse two states. “This man came to Jesus by night.” Nicodemus, from the darkness of his heart sought Jesus at night. As we have seen in chapter one, the theme of light and darkness runs throughout the book of John. And, so out of the darkness of his heart for he didn’t want others to know of this secrete meeting at night with Jesus. The darkness of his heart for he so misunderstood the great truths that were stored within the scrolls of the Old Testament. He came, more of curiosity than he did seeking knowledge. But to this man, Jesus would reveal more to him than any other Jew he met with the exception of His own disciples.
In our next post, we will explore more about this midnight meeting between the Pharisee named Nicodemus and Jesus.