Now when he 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, for he himself knew what was in man.
There are many times in the gospels where we see Jesus perceiving something on the inside, something about a person that’s true, but unexpressed. He knew the intentions of men, what they were wondering or even worrying about. He knew how they would react to things that had yet to come even when they themselves denied it. You are like white washed tombs, he once said, which on the outside are beautiful but on the inside are full of death and uncleanness. He knows humanity.
And yet, despite that, he still came to be among us. He still came to save us. Why?
The only explanation is love. Indeed, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever belies in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s good rule, he would have been within his rights simply to wipe out creation and start again. But he loved what he had made. And so he decided to rescue it.
And what’s amazing is that God’s love is the only thing that’s really able to change us. When we finally get an honest look at what’s on the inside, we can be tempted to despair. Or, some of us can decide we need to muster a can-do attitude and try harder. But neither of these will produce true change at the heart level.
But when we experience God’s love—while we were yet enemies, he died for us—that’s when we finally begin to change. That’s when we our values and motives begin to shift, and we become more like what we were created to be in the first place. We begin to change into creatures that reflect God’s love, that place God at the center of our lives.
Jesus knows what’s inside of you—all of it. And yet, he still loves you. Let that love change you.
Jesus, when we take an honest look inside, we don’t like what we see. But you’ve always seen that. You’ve always known. And yet you loved me anyhow. Please change what’s in me so that I can better reflect who you are and what you value. That I might be like you.