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Sermon #5408

Let a Man Examine Himself

A Sermon on John 2:23-25

Scripture

John 2:23-25 ESV NASB KJV
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 …

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Sermon Description

In his sermon on “Let a Man Examine Himself,” from John 2:23–25, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles the important topic of unbelief. How does unbelief come about, and how does Jesus respond? He offers an explanation to Christ’s actions. In the passage, Jesus performs miracles and many of the crowd believed in His name, but Christ did not give Himself to them, for He knew their hearts. Why did Christ reject them? Dr. Lloyd-Jones points to their unbelief. The people who gathered believed in His miracles, but they did not believe in His teaching. In many ways, they resembled Nicodemus. The Pharisee approached Jesus at night, wondering why He was able to perform such signs and miracles. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that Nicodemus wasn’t interested in Jesus’s teaching, and that is why he never understood. The proper approach to Christ is like that of the disciples. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says all should mimic the disciples’ desire to know God. They saw Christ’s miracles, but also wanted to know where He was staying so they could listen and understand. This is the kind of belief God is interested in, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says. These are the people who will understand God’s love, and His Son’s redemptive sacrifice on the cross.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage from John 2:23-25 shows the possibility of false belief and the danger of it. Many believed in Jesus when they saw his miracles but Jesus did not commit himself to them.

  2. The characteristics of false belief are:

  3. Only a general interest in Jesus, attracted to his personality and miracles but not his teaching.

  4. Interested in phenomena and experiences, not truth or doctrine.

  5. Not humbled or repentant, trusting in their own understanding.

  6. A false belief is useless. It does not matter if we are interested in Jesus if he is not interested in us. Jesus did not commit himself to those in John 2 because he knew what was in them.

  7. We can know Jesus is interested in us if:

  8. He disturbs and deals with our lives, not leaving us alone.

  9. We feel drawn and led by him, sensing his presence.

  10. We become aware of our sin and dependence on him.

  11. We find peace, joy, and assurance in him.

  12. Many will claim to have done things in Jesus' name but he will say "I never knew you; depart from me." We cannot fool Jesus, he knows what is in us.

  13. Have you ever been afraid Jesus is not interested in you? If not, he likely never has been. We must realize our utter helplessness without him.

  14. To enter the kingdom of God we must be born again, of water (repentance) and the Spirit (rebirth by God's Spirit). A mere belief in or admiration of Jesus is not enough.

  15. We must go to Jesus, tell him we don't know if he's interested in us, and cry out for him to make it certain. He will not reject us.

The Book of John

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.