John 2:23-24 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.
John 6:26-27 [After the feeding of more than five thousand people, Jesus said] I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
I doubt the concept of mind mapping was a thing when John wrote his Gospel. But making a mind map for John helps me see the connections he saw when he organized his material—not chronological links, but conceptual. These two verses at the end of chapter 2 refer back to Passover in Jerusalem while pivoting to the topic Nicodemus chooses to open his conversation with Jesus in chapter 3: Jesus’ miracles. And they introduce the topic of trust.
Have you tried mind mapping? Google mind map and you’ll find an endless list of resources and models, like this one. Doing a simple mind map helps me sometimes to get thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head into an external form I can look at. Connections and insights follow; usually “aha!” moments (we are still in the season of Epiphany, the season of revelations!) that give me clarity and direction. Pick a topic that’s troubling you and try it! I’d love to know your experience.
You could try, for example, the topic of trust. Who/what do you trust, and why? Who/what don’t you trust, and why? Put the topic “trust” in the center of your mind map and see where it takes you.
Trust is a tricky topic because we can’t live without it, but we fear setting ourselves up for disappointment or betrayal. What we fear is integrally linked into what or who we trust. So our fears have a place on our “trust” mind maps. It might help to do a “fear” mind map first, to clarify our needs before we look at what we do to try to meet those needs.
Hit a nerve? Don’t keep all your thoughts and feelings stuffed inside you. Talk to someone you (ahem) trust!
I had this post mostly written before I heard our pastor open his sermon last Sunday with the question, “How can we know we can trust someone?” You can listen to the sermon here (the one at the top of the listing, by Jonathan Millard 1/31). Well worth your while!