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Do Not Trust!
Jesus did not entrust Himself to others, even if they believed in Him.
That is a significant example to us all today!
  "Now when He [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name
when they saw the signs that He was doing.
But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them,
because He knew all people
and needed no one to bear witness about man
[humanity], for He Himself knew what was in man."
John 2:23-25.
Christ's
powerful ministry in Jerusalem brought many to faith in Him (Jn.2:23-25). But, the Bible emphasizes to us by repetition, that He did not entrust Himself to them – not because they were hypocrites or specially untrustworthy – but because Christ knew our human nature. This example of the Lord Jesus to us is applicable in varying degrees to all our human relationships, always.
 
 
We naturally tend to link, and sometimes even confuse, love with trust. Jesus was wiser!
 
 
We are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves, and for our spiritual family we are told to "lay down our lives", that is die for them (1 Jn.3:16) – the ultimate evidence of love. But this does not mean at all that we should trust them. Trust must always be earned!
 
 
To reinforce this truth, the Bible instructs us to test our fellow Christians first before any serves in an office of trust.
 
 
"They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve"
1 Timothy 3:10
The
Bible provides a successful example of this testing:
 
 
"But you know that Timothy has proved himself,
because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel"
Philippians 2:22
Trust
is often expressed in an openness toward others. I do not mean the openness that accepts others in mercy according to their needs. That is simply practical Christian love. I mean the openness that entrusts the personal, the valuable, to persons who are untested. 
 
 
Jesus Himself did not speak openly of everything. This is true, not only of situations that involved potential embarrassment to others, such as the water-to-wine miracle, but also on important matters of doctrine ("privately" Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3), and even His own actions ("tell no one" Matthew 16:20).
 
He,
the Lord, is our example, in all these things, and it should really move us to reconsider some of our presuppositions. Christianity has no secret doctrines, but some doctrines are nevertheless not meant for public advertisement; such as, Antichrist, Rapture, etc.
 
 
These subjects in public debate play into the hands of sensation seekers, help deviate attention from the Gospel, become exaggerated into error, leaving persons to speculate about the "last days" without receiving a new heart.
 
 
For that very reason the Bible says: "a prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself" (Proverbs 12:23). Jesus was very serious when He warned us, with no negative intent, to not cast our "pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6).
 
Sometimes,
it is not simply the issue itself that should not be raised but how much should be said about it.
 
Moses our example
For instance, God commanded Moses to tell Pharaoh only partial truth. So partial that it could be construed as misleading: three days journey into the wilderness for Israel to worship, to "celebrate a feast" to God – purely a religious matter (Ex.5:1). Whereas, Moses himself knew very well that he was intended to lead them away from Egypt permanently. Israel's emigration from Egypt to Palestine is totally ignored in the request to Pharaoh even though it is the primary purpose of the request. Misrepresentation? Examine the text again.
 
Moses
is really challenging Pharaoh's claim on Israel as opposed to God's claim, in this call for them to worship beyond Pharaoh's direct control, and this was the real issue.
 
 
If Moses had informed Pharaoh of his commission to lead Israel to its own land to be an independent political entity, the issue would have become political and economic foolishness for Pharaoh to loose such a large labour force and risk Egypt's national security; and Pharaoh would have been right. 
 
 
Although this was factually more correct, it would have misled Pharaoh from the real issue, which was the challenge to his authority over Israel, not over Egypt.
 
 
Moses fully respects Pharaoh's authority in Egypt, inasmuch as each of his interviews with Pharaoh is a request to leave the country, not a demand. The naiveté that would spill the whole story is certainly not wisdom!
 
 
Further, Egypt owed Israel for their years of unpaid labour. So, God instructs Israel to ask for silver and gold from the Egyptians (Exodus 11:2). Israel's non-return to Egypt, if known, would have directly affected the willingness of the Egyptians to give. The whole truth is not always 'right' in a given situation.
 
Jeremiah our example
Jeremiah the great prophet, also, withholds truth from the high officials of king Zedekiah, whom he knows will misuse it, and deliberately deceives them concerning his conversation with the king. (Jeremiah 38:24-27). If Jeremiah had not deceived them with a half-truth the king would have been accused, unjustly, of treason.
 
Example demonstrated
The New Testament also teaches us the same principle. The mourners at the funeral of Jairus' deceased daughter are told by Jesus "the child has not died, but is asleep" (Mark 5:39, emphasis mine).
 
What
was true?
Physically, she was dead!
 
 
But that fact misrepresented the situation, for she was about to awaken, just as a sleeping child awakens.
 
Jesus
also imposed secrecy on her parents; not in order to deceive, but to protect the child from being treated forever after as an oddity by the funeral crowd waiting outside (Mark 5:43). This was particularly relevant in view of her young age.
 
So,
how much we trust others on an issue must be matched, in each individual circumstance, to the trustworthiness of those persons in relation to the issue.
 
 
Trust must always be earned!
 
Even
those whom Jesus did trust He did not trust equally, as the above record shows. Jesus trusted His disciples unequally
 
 
Peter, James and John are told not to tell the other apostles of their experience on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9).
Peter, in turn, suspected that he was not trusted as much as John; especially on the sensitive matter of who the betrayer would be (John 13:24-28). 
 
 
Trust must always be appropriate to the proven character of the person we are dealing with, for –
"a righteous man is cautious in friendship" (Proverbs 12:26),
but is unhesitating with Christ's love toward that person.
 
 
In particular, remember that authorities must always be respected unconditionally (as the Bible exhorts concerning evil emperor Nero; 1Pet.2:17),
but must never ever be trusted! (Proverbs 23:1-3)

 
NEXT
4. -- LIVE TRANSPARENTLY
 
 
"Virtue is not always amiable." John Adam's Diary (February 9, 1779),
 

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