2:22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

23 When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.

Chapter two of John’s Gospel announces, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus did not come to reinforce the self-serving hierarchical, institutional religious structures of his day; but nor did he come to destroy the structures of his religious tradition.

Jesus was interested in “what was in everyone.” Jesus was concerned about the state of the human heart. Jesus understood as he says in Matthew’s Gospel that

what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:18, 19)

If we get the heart wrong, nothing will come out right.

So, how do we get the heart right?

In order to get the heart right we need to “believe in his name.” The name of Jesus stands for the power of Jesus. We need to trust in the power of those qualities Jesus embodied. We need to trust the power of love, gentleness, kindness and compassion. When we trust these qualities, they will naturally be more fully manifest in our lives.

But, apparently, we need to trust these qualities even when they do not cause things to turn out the way we hoped the might.  John alludes in these verses to people who believed in Jesus, but their belief was dependent upon seeing “the signs that he was doing.”

Later in John’s Gospel, Jesus will ask his disciples

Have you believed because you have seen me?

Then he goes on to add,

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. (John 20:29)

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews spoke of this trust that has faith without seeing when he wrote,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

The journey with Jesus is a journey to that place within ourselves where we are able to move through external religious observance and outer form to trust in the hidden mysteries that Jesus embodied and that are apprehended only by an open heart.