“Word for Today” – John 2 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

March 18, 2009 at 5:45 am Leave a comment

box-tops-1As a teacher, my wife Melody is always trying to make her classroom at Concordia the best that it can be.  That is why she loves buying General Mills products.  You may have heard of their “Box Tops for Education” program where each box top you clip and mail in is worth ten cents for the school of your choice to assist them in purchasing everything from books to computers to playground equipment.  And so, Melody is always reminding me, “Don’t forget to clip the box tops!”  And, as her dutiful and doting husband, I always assure her that I will do my best to remember.

That is why I was surprised when, a couple of months ago, I found Melody rummaging through our trash.  “What are you doing?”  I asked with a tinge of cynicism in my voice.  “Looking for box tops,” she answered.  “But why?” I shot back, “I’ve told you that I’ll do my best to remember to clip them for you.”  “Yes,” she responded, “But you’re always forgetting.  I’ve gotten to the point where I just don’t trust you to clip them anymore.”

“I just don’t trust you anymore.”  Even though these words didn’t concern me all that profoundly because they were spoken about some relatively minor box tops, depending on their context, these words can rend a heart.  For they usually come from a person who has been betrayed so profoundly, or hurt so deeply, or let down so consistently that all faith that they once placed in someone has now evaporated.  “I just don’t trust you anymore.”

In our text for today from John 2, we read about a time when Jesus’ ministry was skyrocketing in popularity.  “Many people saw the miraculous signs Jesus was doing,” John says, “and believed in his name” (verse 23).  The Greek word for “believed” is pisteuo, meaning “faith” or “trust.”  In other words, the crowds that adored and applauded Jesus had come nowhere near the point of not being able to trust Jesus anymore.

Sadly, the same thing cannot be said for Jesus’ estimation of those who so readily revered him.  For John continues, “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them” (verse 24).  The Greek word here for “entrust” is also pisteuo.  Thus, although the people trusted in Jesus, Jesus did not trust in the people.

But why?  Why would Jesus be so cruel as to say something like, “I just don’t trust you anymore”?  John tells us that Jesus “knew all men” (verse 24).  In other words, Jesus knew of their sinfulness, he knew of their depravity, he knew of their malicious objectives, and he knew that, at the moment he did finally entrust himself to them, their shouts of adulation would quickly dissipate into cries of “Crucify him!”  Thus, Jesus did not entrust himself to the people…at least not yet.  But this was soon to change.  Because Jesus, even though he has no good reason to trust people, for people are sinful and depraved and malicious and fickle, is nevertheless bent on trusting them anyway.  He nevertheless is bent on trusting us anyway.  As the apostle Paul writes, “We speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).  And the Greek word for “entrusted” is none other than pisteuo.  Christ trusts us, Paul says.  And he trusts us with something much more precious than ten cent box tops.  He trusts us with the very message of his salvation.  He trusts us with the very message of his cross.  And he trusts us with this most precious message, not because we deserve such trust, but because he loves us.

So, now that Jesus has trusted you, the question becomes:  What will you do with this precious trust of the gospel?  Will you entrust it to others even as it has been entrusted to you?  I pray that you will.  Because if there’s one thing we could all use more of, it’s a little more trust. 

Entry filed under: Word for Today.

“Word for Today” – John 1 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com “Word for Today” – John 3 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

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