The Man Behind the Mask
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
The third chapter of John's Gospel records the most important message that any church in
the entire world has to give. But the third chapter actually begins back in the second chapter:
Now when he [the Lord Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day,
many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did
not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any
should testify of man; for he knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25)
That is a very remarkable passage and certainly a fitting introduction to the man behind the
Now the Lord Jesus had come up to Jerusalem for the first time as He began His ministry.
He had cleansed the temple and healed multitudes. Many of the people, we are told, believed on
Him. To be very frank with you, I would have recorded all these people as converts if I'd been
there. But we are told by John that Jesus did not commit Himself to them. Literally, He did not
believe in them. They believed in Him, but He did not believe in them because their faith rested
on the fact that He was a miracle worker rather than on the fact that He was a Savior. And He
didn't want that kind of follower. So we're told that He did not commit Himself to that crowd
for the reason that He knew what was in man, and He did not need that anybody testify of man.
You see, you needn't go to Jesus and say to Him, "Mr. So-and-so is this or that kind of a man"
- He already knows it. May I say to you that here we have something that is quite remarkable.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (John 3:1)
Now, "There was a man of the Pharisees...." This man the Lord Jesus trusted, and that night
He revealed to him something that He had not revealed to even His apostles (and He did not
reveal it to them until two and a half years later). When they were in Caesarea Philippi six
months before He went to Jerusalem ...
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