Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

The Temporary Believer

Book of John

A Sermon on John 2:23-25

Jesus Knows What Is in Man

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. (ESV)

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What do Jesus’s miracles mean to the Christian? Did they bring the Christian to faith, or are they simply impressed by them? In this sermon on John 2:23–25 titled “The Temporary Believer,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expresses the danger of believing in Christ solely based on spectacle. True believers come to Christ because of who He is, not merely for the miracles He performed. Many came to faith after seeing Christ’s miracles, but they did so in confession of sin because they realized their spiritual state in relation to God. Faith in the signs Christ performed did not lead people to salvation, but faith in the God who performed them did. Dr. Lloyd-Jones clarifies that God’s word, not wonders, leads people to faith. The distinction is important: wonders are phenomenal to behold, but God’s word articulates the truth of Christ to needful souls. This means that Christ’s teaching about His person and the good news was what brought people to Him, and miracles were further affirmation of His legitimacy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also exhorts his listeners that they must believe “on” Jesus, not merely “in” Him. The difference, he explains, is that those who believe on Jesus are trusting Him with their souls; those who believe in Jesus merely trust Him to be a spectacle.

Additional Scripture Translations

John 2:23-25, New American Standard Bible

23Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name as they observed His signs which He was doing. 24But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, because He knew all people, 25and because He did not need anyone to testify about mankind, for He Himself knew what was in mankind.

John 2:23-25, King James Version

23¶ Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.