Friday, September 15, 2023

Wholehearted Seekers

But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart (John 2:24-25 NLT)

At a casual reading, the response of Jesus seems almost harsh and unfair.

Chapter 12 of Matthew’s Gospel tells us that “one day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, ‘Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority’ ” (verse 38 NLT).

“Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign,” Jesus answered. “But the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (verses 39–40 NLT).

Here were some individuals who were asking for a miracle. Jesus had performed many miracles. After all, what was one more? Why didn’t He respond to their request? Because Jesus always looked at the motives behind what people said and did.

Jesus is far more interested in what’s going on in our hearts than what we are merely saying with our mouths.

And as Jesus looked into the hearts of these religious leaders, no doubt He saw the reason for their request.

Earlier in the chapter we read, “Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus” (verse 14 NLT). Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath, and that upset them. These religious leaders wanted to destroy Jesus.

They weren’t interested in a miracle. They weren’t interested in a sign. Instead, they were out to get Him. And Jesus recognized this.

It’s fascinating to note how Jesus dealt with different people. He never dealt with anyone in the same way. He would look behind the veneer of what was going on and see their hearts. And when a person was truly seeking and a miracle was in order, He did it.

Jesus performed numerous miracles for hurting, searching people such as blind Bartimaeus or the woman who had spent everything on doctors who couldn’t heal her. On the other hand, when people came with the wrong motives, He didn’t do a miracle for them. In fact, on some occasions He didn’t even reveal Himself to them.

For example, John 2:23 says, “Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.” But the passage goes on to say, “But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart” (verses 24–25 NLT).

These people who saw His miracles weren’t seeking Him with their whole hearts. They were merely excited about the phenomena. If they had been true seekers, then Jesus would have revealed Himself to them.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT). Jesus revealed Himself to true seekers. And He repelled those who were not.

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