John 2:23-25 : Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.
It must have been very difficult for Jesus to live on earth with men. Jesus couldn’t trust people because He already knew that they weren’t trustworthy. Jesus could see into the minds of people and knew them already, and we know from other parts of the Bible (and we know from ourselves) that it wasn’t very pretty.
Many were believing in Him because of the miracles that He was performing. Even though the Jewish leaders accused Him of not having “signs”, He clearly had signs because if He hadn’t people wouldn’t have been following Him around.
As human beings, we are reluctant to accept the obvious fact that we are corrupt. We don’t even do the things that we claim are good to do. We can’t be trusted because we have a problem with sin:
Romans 3:10-18 :
as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
together they have become useless;
there is no one who does good,
there is not even one.
Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
and the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
It’s easy to look at the problems of others and start comparing ourselves with others, but that is really a distraction. The problem is inside of all of us individually. That is why we needed to be “Saved.” We were saved when we realized that the problem was in us and that it was killing us and that it would ultimately put us in Hell unless something was done. Jesus is the One we turned to.
As believers, the problem has already been taken care of and we can now be trusted because the power of God is in us now and we have the ability to “live in” that power. This passage is talking about a time before that power was given. The disciples had many more things to realize after the Holy Spirit was given as we have already read in other places. As believers we become a new creation:
2 Corinthians 5:15-17 : He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.