John 2:24
But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) But beneath this shallow surface there is the unbroken ledge of rock. They are easily moved just because they are not deeply moved. The eye which looked at, looked into, others (comp. John 1:47 et seq.), saw to the very depth of their hearts too, and knew all. It saw in that depth that the true inner man did not believe, did not commit itself to Him; it found not the spiritual receptivity, and there could not therefore be the spiritual revelation. He, on His part, did not commit Himself unto them. (Comp. John 8:31, Note.) Our version gives the correct sense, but it should be noted that “believed” in John 2:23, and “commit” here, represent the same Greek word.

2:23-25 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 their 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 is done by men; 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.Did not commit himself - The word translated "commit" here is the same which in John 2:23 is translated "believed." It means to put "trust" or "confidence in." Jesus did not put "trust" or "reliance" in them. He did not leave himself in their hands. He acted cautiously and prudently. The proper time for him to die had not come, and he secured his own safety. The reason why he did not commit himself to them is "that he knew all men." He knew the "inconstancy" and "fickleness" of the multitude. He knew how easily they might be turned against him by the Jewish leaders, and how unsafe he would be if they should be moved to sedition and tumult. 24. did not commit—"entrust," or let Himself down familiarly to them, as to His genuine disciples. Christ did not take all these seeming believers into his bosom, nor call them after him, nor maintain any familiar fellowship and communion with them; but made haste again into Galilee, till his time was come, knowing that in so public a place of danger they were not to be trusted; for being God blessed for ever, he had knowledge of the hearts of all men. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them,.... The sense according to some of the ancients is, that he did not commit the whole of the Gospel to them; he did not make known to them all his mind and will; this he only did to the twelve apostles, his special disciples and friends; nor was the time come, that he would make known, or have made known, the things concerning his person, office, obedience, sufferings, death, and resurrection from the dead: but rather the meaning is, that he did not trust himself with these persons, who believed in him, on the basis of his miracles; he did not take them into the number of his associates; he did not admit them to intimacy with him; nor did he freely converse with them, or make any long stay among them; but soon withdrew himself from hence, and went into other parts of Judea, and into Galilee:

because he knew all men: good and bad: all openly profane sinners, and all their actions; not only their more public ones, but those that are done in the dark, and which are the most secretly devised, and levelled against the saints; and he so knew them, as to bring them into judgment: and all good men, true believers; he knows their persons, as they are his Father's choice, his gift of them to him, his own purchase, and as called by his grace; and so as to distinguish them at the last day, and give up the full account of every one of them to his Father: he knows the worst of them, the sin that dwells in them, their daily infirmities, their secret personal sins; their family sins, both of omission and commission; and their church sins, or which are committed in the house of God; and takes notice of them, so as to resent them, and chastise them for them; he knows the best of them, their graces, their faith, hope, love, patience, humility, self-denial, &c; he knows their good works, and all their weaknesses and their wants: and he knows all nominal professors, on what basis they take up their profession, and what trust they place in it; he can distinguish between grace and mere profession, and discern the secret lusts which such indulge, and the springs and progress of their apostasy: he knew all these men, that upon seeing his miracles, professed at this time to believe in him; he knew the hypocrisy and dissimulation of some of them; and he knew the notions they had of a temporal Messiah, and the temporal views they had in believing in him; and their design to set him up as a temporal prince, as some afterwards would have done: knew the flashy affections of others, who were like John's hearers, that were pleased for a while; he knew what sort of faith it was they believed in him with, that it would not hold long, nor they continue with him; for he knew not only all persons, but "all things", as some copies read here; see John 21:17.

{6} But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

(6) It is not good giving credit to those who trust only because of miracles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 2:24-25. Αὐτὸς δὲ, κ.τ.λ.] But He on His part, though they on their part, on account of His miracles, believed on Him.

οὐκ ἐπίστ. ἑαυτόν] an intentional antithesis to the preceding ἐπίστ. εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ. Observe the emphatic ἑαυτόν: it must not be taken as meaning “He kept back His doctrine from them” (Chrysostom, Kuinoel, and many), or “His work” (Ebrard); but He did not trust Himself, i.e. His own person, to them; He refrained from any closer personal intercourse with them. Without any such reserve on His part, rather with confident self-surrender, had He given Himself to His intimate Galilean friends. Towards the Jews in Jerusalem, on whom, from His knowledge of the human heart, He could not bestow this self-devotion, because there were wanting in them the inward moral conditions necessary thereto, His bearing was more strange and distant. Observe the imperfects ἐπίστευεν and ἐγίνωσκε.

διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν γινώσκ. πάντ.] because He Himself (as in the following αὐτός) knew all men, universal. Respecting none did His personal knowledge fail Him with regard to the state of his moral feeling.

καὶ ὅτι, κ.τ.λ.] negative expression of the same thought in the popular form of a still further reason.

ἵνα] not instead of the infinitive construction (Matthew 3:14 al.), but the object of the need is conceived of in the form of a purpose which the person needing guidance entertains. Comp. John 16:30; 1 John 2:27.

περὶ τοῦ ἀνθρ.] does not apply to Jesus Himself (“concerning Him as man,” Ewald), but concerning any man with whom He had at any time to do. See Bernhardy, p. 315; Winer, p. 109 [E. T. p. 143].

αὐτός] of Himself, i.e. αὐτοδίδακτος, Nonnus. See Herm. ad Viger. p. 733; Krüger, Anab. ii. 3. 7; comp. Clementine Homil. iii. 13 : ἀπείρῳ ψυχῆς ὀφθαλμῷ.

τί ἦν ἐν τῷ ἀνθρ.] the inward, though not outwardly indicated capacity, character, disposition, and so on; τὸ κρυπτὸν τοῦ νοῦς, Origen. Comp. Nonnus: ὅσα φρενὸς ἔνδοθεν ἀνὴρ εἶχεν ἀκηρύκτῳ κεκαλυμμένα φάρεϊ σιγῆς. To this supernatural and immediate discernment, as possessed by Jesus, special prominence is often given by John. Comp. John 1:49-50, John 4:19; John 4:29, John 6:61; John 6:64, John 11:4; John 11:15, John 13:11, John 16:19, John 21:17. It is the life expression of His divine essence (Psalm 7:10; Psalm 139:2; Acts 15:8), like the working of miracles.24. did not commit] The same verb as ‘many believed’ in John 2:23. ‘Many trusted in His name; but Jesus did not trust Himself unto them.’ The antithesis is probably intentional.John 2:24. Αὐτός) Himself.—οὐκ ἐπίστευεν ἑαυτόν, He did not commit Himself) He did not descend to too great familiarity with them (Septuag., Job 29:24, εἰ ἐγέλων πρὸς αὐτοὺς, οὐκ ἐπίστευον, “If I laughed on them, they believed it not):” He did not reveal to them the things which it was not yet the full time for revealing. [In fact, He left the city, when the passover feast was either not yet, or scarcely, finished, for this reason, because those men were already meditating with themselves the plots, which broke out more openly, ch. John 5:16; John 5:18, “The Jews sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day:” and also “said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God;” John 7:1, “He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him:” for it was not then as yet the time for His submitting Himself to encounter their hatred. Without doubt it was, as having a secret surmise of these things, that Nicodemus had the interview with Him by night.—Harm., p. 163.]—The antithesis to οὐκ ἐπίστευεν ἑαυτόν is ἐπίστευσαν, many believed, John 2:23.—αὐτόν) Himself, of Himself, knew all men.—γινώσκειν, knew) Often John so uses the word γινώσκειν, to know, of Jesus having cognizance of all things, without information given Him by man: ch. John 4:1, “The Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made—more disciples than John;” John 5:6, “When Jesus knew that he (the impotent man) had now been a long time in that case,” etc.Verses 24, 25. - But Jesus did not (imperfect) trust himself to them; not even to those who had "trusted on his Name." This remarkable expression corresponds with many actions and methods of Jesus. When he was offered the homage of devils, he forbade them to speak. When those who had been simply healed of bodily disease began garrulously to proclaim his praises, he silenced them. He had no faith in their faith, and consequently did not open to them more of his nature; still less did he assume, as they would have liked him to do, an immediate and outward Messiahship of political revolt. He did not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax, and often made use of the smallest remnant of spiritual apprehension; but even in Galilee, when they would by force have made him a king, "he sent the multitudes away." The apparently arbitrary permission given to others to proclaim his Name (as, e.g., to the healed demoniac of Gergesa, Luke 8:39; cf. Luke 9:57-62) suggests the precise inquiry which John had felt from the first Jerusalem visit, and which, with profound insight, he thus meets: "He did not trust himself to them," owing to the fact that he knew - (γινώσκειν by apperceptive and continuous processes) - all (men) persons. He penetrated their thoughts, discerned their character, saw the meaning of their faith, the burden of their wishes, the regal passions that consumed them - he knew all. And also because he had no need that any should testify what was in (the) man; for he himself - without such aid - knew what was in (the) man. The definite articles here may either restrict the meaning to the men who happened one by one to come under his searching glance (John 7:51; Meyer), or it may mean "man" generically, "human nature" in all its peril, weakness, and self-deception. Geikie ('Life of Christ,' 1, 508) gives a novel, though entirely indefensible, translation: "He needed not that any should bear witness respecting him as man." The better and more accurate translation is the first; but since his glance is universal and contact with souls continuous - man by man - the statement thus embraces even more than is involved in the generic sense. The knowledge of man (homo) "generically" would not embrace his individualities - would leave out the specialities of each case. The particularism of Christ's penetrative glance gives the stronger and better explanation of the reserve of Christ in dealing with these half-believers, than the generic or rather universal knowledge which is supposed to be involved. N.B. -

(1) There is a so called faith to which Christ will not unveil himself - will not give himself.

(2) The great reward of faith in Christ is the faith of Christ.

(3) Faith in the Name of Christ, produced now by "signs," real or artificial, fictitious or sacramental, mystic, or miraculous, or aesthetic, by series Biblicae, or exaggerated ideas of special providence, is not comparable to the faith in Christ himself, which the truth about him excites.

(4) It is to the latter rather than to the former that the golden gates of the heart of Jesus are opened.



But Jesus (αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Ἱησοῦς)

The αὐτὸς, which does not appear in translation, has the force of on His part, marking the contrast with those just mentioned.

Did not commit (οὐκ ἐπίστευτεν)

Rev., trust. There is a kind of word-play between this and ἐπίστευσαν, believed, in the preceding verse. Wyc. reproduces it: "Jesus himself believed not himself to them." He did not trust His person to them. Tynd., put not himself in their hands. "He had no faith in their faith" (Godet).

Because He knew (διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν γινώσκειν)

Literally, on account of the fact of His knowing. John describes the Lord's knowledge by two words which it is important to distinguish. Γινώσκειν, as here, implies acquired knowledge; knowledge which is the result of discernment and which may be enlarged. This knowledge may be drawn from external facts (John 5:6; John 6:15) or from spiritual sympathy (John 10:14, John 10:27; John 17:25). Εἰδέναι (John 1:26) implies absolute knowledge: the knowledge of intuition and of satisfied conviction. Hence it is used of Christ's knowledge of divine things (John 3:11; John 5:32; John 7:29), Of the facts of His own being (John 6:6; John 8:14; John 13:1), and of external facts (John 6:61, John 6:64; John 13:11). In John 21:17 the two words appear together. Peter says to Jesus, appealing to His absolute knowledge, "Thou knowest (οἶδας) all things:" appealing to his discernment, "Thou knowest or perceivest (γινώσκεις) that I love Thee."

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