Belief Doesn’t Guarantee Endurance

John 2:23-25

While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, several people came to trust in his name, because they had seen the signs he did.

But Jesus didn’t entrust himself to them. He knew everything, and had no need for anyone to give him information about people. He himself knew what was inside people.

Some of these people really believed in Jesus. But he knew how people are, how fickle we are, how undependable we are, and he could not, at the end of the day, put his trust in people. He was not dependent upon human approval, or the passing enthusiasms of people. He could only ultimately place his trust  in his Father.

It’s somewhat jarring to think about the fact that in Jesus’ parable of the sower, three of the four hearers actually received the Word, yet two of them didn’t last. It seems that even real believers are not entirely dependable to Jesus.

This is harsh, I know.

“It is good for all believers to know…that even we believers need to be open to the grace of continuing believing and to learn from Jesus’ full teaching what it means to be and to remain trustworthy believers.” Says Frederick Bruner in his commentary on these verses.

Many people truly do believe due to witnessing the miraculous–circumstances and experiences that they can only (and do) attribute to God. Yet, this can fade. Scripture would not repeatedly admonish us to persevere, stay awake, and abide if it was impossible not do so.

Yes, there is eternal security for believers, but there is also temporal responsibility, as well as the freedom to walk away. This is all taught in Scripture.

This may be something to wrestle with.

Jesus looks for genuine conversion, not enthusiasm for the spectacular.

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