Jesus Performed Miracles But He Was Also The Discerner Of Hearts
While in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus performed miracles that are not given in detail in any of the Gospels.
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.
New King James Version (NKJV)
It must have been these signs that especially attracted Nicodemus (John 3:2). Because of the miracles, many people professed to believe in Him; but Jesus did not accept their profession. No matter what the people had said, or others said about them, He did not accept human testimony.
Why? Because, being God, He knew what was in each person’s heart and mind.
The words believed in John 2:23 and commit in John 2:24 are the same Greek word. These people believed in Jesus, but He did not believe in them! They were “unsaved believers”! It was one thing to respond to a miracle but quite something else to commit oneself to Jesus Christ and continue in His Word (John 8:30-31).
Today, many people do not believe on Jesus because of the miracles that His disciples do not do. Miracles act as a bell to draw people’s attention to the Lord and verify the message we preach. The Lord never intended His Gospel to be preached without accompanying miracles. In fact, Mark 16:20 says that the Lord confirmed the preaching of the Word with signs following. When no signs are present, we have reason to doubt that what is being preached is truly God’s Word.
John was not discrediting the importance of our Lord’s signs, because he wrote his book to record these signs and to encourage his readers to trust Jesus Christ and receive eternal life (John 20:30-31). However, throughout the book, John makes it clear that it takes more than believing in miracles for a person to be saved. Seeing the signs and believing in them would be a great beginning, in fact, even the disciples started that way and had to grow in their faith .
Throughout the Gospel of John, you see the Jewish people divided over the meaning of these miracles (John 9:16; 11:45-46). The same miracles that attracted Nicodemus to Jesus caused some of the other religious leaders to want to kill Him! They even asserted that His miracles were done in the power of Satan! Our Lord’s miracles were testimonies (John 5:36), but they were also tests, exposing the hearts of the people. The same events that opened some eyes only made other eyes that much more blind (John 9:39-41).
It is important to see that Jesus tied His miracles to the truth of His message. He knew that the human heart is attracted to the sensational. The 5,000 that He fed wanted to make Him King—until He preached a sermon on the Bread of Life, and then they left Him in droves!
“Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
In grace, Jesus fed the hungry; in truth, He taught the Word. The people wanted the physical food but not the spiritual truth, so they abandoned Him.
But 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.
John 2:24-25 (NKJV)
“He knew what was in man” is a statement that is proved several times in John’s Gospel. Jesus knew the character of Simon (John 1:42). He knew what Nathanael was like (John 1:46ff), and He told the Samaritan woman “all things” that she had ever done (John 4:29). He knew that the Jewish leaders did not have God’s love in their hearts (John 5:42), and that one of His disciples was not truly a believer (John 6:64). He saw the repentance in the heart of the adulteress (John 8:10-11) and the murder in the hearts of His enemies (John 8:40). Several times in the Upper Room message, Jesus revealed to His disciples their own inner feelings and questions.
As you follow our Lord’s ministry in John’s Gospel, you see Him moving gradually out of the bright light of popularity and into the dark shadows of rejection. At the beginning, it was easy for people to follow the crowd and watch His miracles. But then, His words began to penetrate hearts, with conviction following; and conviction leads either to conversion or opposition. It is impossible to be neutral. People had to decide, and most of them decided against Him.
Yes, Jesus knows the human heart.
“Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
People who want His works but not His Word can never share His life. “Seeing is believing” is not the Christian approach (John 11:40; 20:29). First we believe; then we see. Miracles can only lead us to the Word (John 5:36-38), and the Word generates saving faith (Rom. 10:17).
Our Lord knew all men, their nature, dispositions, affections, designs, so as we do not know any man, not even ourselves. He knows his crafty enemies, and all they’re secret projects, his false friends, and their true characters. He knows who are truly his, knows their uprightness, and knows their weaknesses. We know what men do; Christ knows what is in them, he tries the heart. Beware of a dead faith, or a formal profession: carnal, empty professors are not to be trusted, and however men impose on others or themselves, they cannot impose on the heart-searching God.
Our Lord’s accurate knowledge of the human heart is another evidence of His deity, for only God can see the inner person.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I believe in the name of Jesus and I am recognized as one of His followers. In and through me, He performs many signs, wonders and miracles. I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name! Amen.