JOHN 2:23-25

[Jn 2:23-25]:

(v. 23) "Now while He [Jesus Christ, (vv. 19-22)] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and believed in His name.

[Note that other passages indicate that those that believed in His name were indeed saved unto eternal life - there being no semantical distinction amongst any of these passages with the one under examination, (cp Jn 3:18; 6:29; Ac 19:4; 10:14; Ro 4:24]

(v. 24) But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men.

[Notice that the point being made is not that those who trusted in His name were not saved but that our Lord did not entrust Himself to them]

(v. 25) He did not need man's testimony about man, for He knew what was in a man."

A critical phrase in this passage is, "He did not entrust Himself to them". Objectors to faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life misuse this phrase to indicate that those that "believed in His name", did not receive eternal life because our Lord "did not entrust Himself to them". But consider the words "did not entrust Himself to them". Can they be construed to say, those that "believed in His name" did not receive eternal life. Or do they simply say that our Lord did not entrust Himself, i.e., He did not place His confidence in them relative to His mission for mankind. So He did not accept them as disciples at this point even though they indeed were born again believers.

[Bob Wilkin states]:

"John 2:23-24 does use the words "faith" and "commitment" back to back. In fact, as you mention, in Greek only one word is used to convey both ideas. The word pisteuo, normally translated "believe," can legitimately sometimes be translated "commit." However, it does not mean commit in the sense of pledging to serve God. Pisteuo is used in verse 24 in the sense of entrusting something to someone. Jesus did not entrust Himself and His mission to new believers. He knew that they were not worthy of such trust at that point in His ministry. If commitment in the sense of pledging to serve God is synonymous with faith in Christ, we would need to find passages conditioning eternal life upon pledging one's lives to serve God. We find none. In fact, in the Gospel of John, the only book in the Bible whose primary purpose is evangelistic, the word "commit" only occurs twice and neither time in reference to man (John 2:24 refers to Christ and John 5:22 refers to the Father). This is a telling fact. In addition, the word "repent" doesn't occur at all. However, the word "believe in its various forms (noun and verb) occurs 99 times in John's Gospel. The evidence is overwhelming. Belief is not synonymous with commitment in the sense of pledging to do something. (It is, of course, in the sense of entrusting one's eternal destiny in God's hands.)"