What is in man

What is in man

William Stout / General


The Signs


John 2:23–25 NKJV

23 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.

24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,

25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.


  • There were many people who believed in Jesus, “when they saw the signs which He did”
  • The word “believe” has different meaning depending on its context
  • These people “believed in His name” because they saw the signs, but they had not believed to the point of entrusting their lives to Him
  • In the preceding verse, we are told that His disciples remembered after He was raised and they “believed the scriptures”
  • That is the sense that is meant when the bible tells us that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish…
  • The kind of “believing that these people were doing was merely an intellectual consent type –
  • They acknowledged that He was from God because of the things He did, but they had not been “born again”
  • The book of James tells us that the kind of believing that acknowledges only is not enough


James 2:19 NKJV

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!



  • There are many people who “believe in God” but have no relationship with Him
  • so many people, like many of the Jews here, were probably taught from a child to believe in God
  • yet that was not enough to bring them salvation
  • many people simply believe because they were taught as children – and parents should teach their children
  • Yet, no one can “believe” unto salvation for you. You must be born again
  • this kind of “believing” involves a personal trust in the one in whom you believe
  • As John illustrated in John 15:14-15


John 15:14–15 NKJV

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

  • Many people believe in God because even believe in God because they have seen some “sign” themselves
  • I know of many instances where people have seen undeniable “signs”, and acknowledge God, but have not “believed” to salvation (example )
  • God still does miracles and gives many signs today, yet many do not “believe”
  • “But as many, as believed to them He gave the right to become sons of God -…. – (as we believe better things for you)…
  • Some people even believe God exists because of the overwhelming evidence to support it – and yet they are not saved
  • Like Einstein and Josh McDowell
  • Intellectual consent alone will not save you


He did not commit Himself to them

  • Jesus did not “commit’ or “entrust” Himself to them at this time
  • Although they claimed to believe Him, He didn’t believe their believing
  • He did not trust them as the “friends” he later referred to His disciples (You) as.
  • I think they were like the people that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7


Matthew 7:21–23 NKJV

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  • Although they claimed to be believers, he said “I never knew you”
  • they had never reached that point of intimate and mutual trust – relationship


Because He knew all men


  • Jesus knew each and every one of them
  • Although they claimed that they believed in Him, He knew the depth of this belief
  • He knew that they were shallow in their belief
  • Like so many of the pseudo-Christians of today – shallow in their faith
  • They love to see signs and wonders, and even more to receive them
  • but when their faith is put to the test or set in the balance, it is lacking
  • But Jesus knew what was in them, for He knows all men
  • He knows each and every one of us also.
  • He did not need any man to testify of man –
  • I can be thankful that God will never need to get the testimony of people to decide what to do with me
  • He will never need to ask anyone else if my heart and motives were pure or not
  • He will never need to ask anyone else what I did or didn’t do
  • I also take great pleasure in the knowledge that so many people who think they have the world fooled today will not fool Him
  • So many people lie and deceive, and we can get very discouraged if we lost sight of this fact
  • That Jesus knows, what is in all men
  • As I recently reminded a government official
  • So many people will stand by their foolish and selfish “posturing” in order to look right before people
  • But Jesus knows all men –

Hebrews 4:13 NKJV

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

  • Not only does He know all things, but we must all give an account to Him

Hebrews 9:27 NKJV

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,


  • Again, David reminded us in Psalm 139


Psalm 139:1–4 NKJV

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.

3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.


For He knew what was in Man

  • Not only did Jesus know all men, as in what they were thinking, their motives, etc.
  • He also knows what is in man:
  • The very nature of man has become corrupt
  • they are lying, and backbiters, and betrayers, and thieves
  • people will give themselves to drunkenness and addictions
  • for love of money and greed, they will do all manner of evil
  • For fear an worry they will also do much wrong
  • they will let you down and disappoint
  • people will make promised and then break them
  • they will win your trust only to betray you, often at your hour of greatest need
  • they will become violent and sometimes even kill
  • and that is only the surface the things that people will do that is bad
  • The Bible tells us that it is so bad that there are none who are righteous – no not one!


And Yet, Jesus knew what was in man

  • Jesus knew when he stepped down from His mighty throne –
  • Being in the very form of God, to make Himself a servant, and be humbled even unto death…
  • He knew what was in man, even those for whom He was crucified


1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

  • So many of us think of doing good to those who are deserving and cut off those who are not
  • So often we love those who we believe are worthy
  • but when was the last time you were kind to someone who you knew was not worthy?
  • Have you ever felt compassion toward someone who was trying to do you wrong” (while they were at it)
  • (examples – L.D., )

Romans 5:7–8 NKJV

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • Now if God can so love us, even while we are in the middle of sinning against Him – can we not so love one another?
  • If we think our sin isn’t so bad – consider that your sin is so horrendous, that the son of God Himself had to suffer and die, in order for you to be saved from it (personal)
  • Yet, while you were sinning – Christ died for you


  • Jesus, knowing all men, knowing what is in man, chose to love you, and to die for you.
  • Will you “commit” yourself to Him?
  • Will you be as those who “believed” to consent, but not to salvation?
  • Or will you be as those who believe to the saving of the soul? Will you commit to Him today?



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