Beyond Intellection (John 2:23–25) - Radical

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Beyond Intellection (John 2:23–25)

Now, when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing, but Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
– John 2:23–25

Did you catch that? John 2:23 talks about how many people were believing in Jesus name when they saw all these signs that he was doing. But verse 24 says, Jesus on his part, did not entrust himself to them because he knew what was in them.

John 2:23–25 Shows that Knowledge of Jesus is not a Relationship with Him

In other words, there’s a kind of belief that does not lead to relationship with Jesus. We know this, James makes clear, even demons believe in God. Even demons believe in Jesus. They don’t have relationship with him. There is a level of belief of intellectual acknowledgement and awareness that is not relationship with Jesus.

And so I just want to encourage you to examine your art today, your mind, and ask what kind of belief do you have? Just intellectual, yes, I believe these things about Jesus. I think about somebody, a friend and I were sharing the gospel with just hours ago, and they knew a lot about Jesus. They grew up in a Catholic church knowing about Jesus, but they didn’t necessarily have a relationship with Jesus.

John 2:23–25 Urges us to Examine Ourselves

And so we prayed together along those lines. And I just would ask you, do you have a relationship with Jesus where he has entrusted himself to you? Put his spirit in you so that you are walking with him? This is the question we’ve been asking in our church family and people have been responding. Do you have an intimate relationship with God through Jesus? And if the answer to that question is not a resounding yes in your heart, or maybe there was a time in your life when you would say you did, but that was a long time ago and a lot has happened since then.

I just want to encourage you, don’t settle for belief that misses intimate relationship with Jesus. Oh God, I pray that over every single person who’s listening right now. I assume most people who listen to this podcast are followers of Jesus. But God, I just pray that if there’s anyone listening to this right now, especially who would say, yes, I believe in Jesus. But the reality is there’s no real relationship with Jesus.

Praying for Convicted Hearts

God, I pray that you would convict their heart right now and open their eyes to the beautiful reality that you want to entrust yourself to them, your spirit to them. You want to walk with them in relationship with them. You want them to have eternal life with you, that they would leave behind just an intellectual awareness and even acknowledgement of who you are, Jesus. But they would trust you with all their hearts to save them from their sins and to be the Lord of their lives.

And God, I pray for anyone who’s listening to this who may have had that kind of relationship in the past, but it was a long time ago and a lot’s happened since then. God, I just pray that right now you would restore them to relationship with you and God that you would help them and help all of us to live out true faith, belief in you that leads to intimate close ever deepening relationship with you. Let me pray this in light of your word in John 2:23–25. In Jesus name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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