“If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Luke 11:12

“….for without me, you can do nothing…..” John 15:5

” ….and have put on the new man who is renewed in the knowledge and according to the image of Him who created him…. Colossians 3:10

I get the sense as I read the bible (again no claim to scholarship)  that Jesus choses His words carefully.  While Jesus teaches in parables that for the people of the time were hard to understand, and if it were not for the explanations captured in the gospel by his disciples, equally as difficult for us today, He did not seem prone to exaggeration or arbitrary vagueness.  Once we understand the context of his message, we understand that we are “to be born again”, or how in faith and obedience, we need to “become as a child”.  So when Jesus uses the word evil, I don’t think he is speaking metaphorically or with a sense of ambiguity.

I get it, you may think, Christ was talking to the dreaded Pharisees or, even worse yet, that despicable, Herod.  Well not exactly.  This passage comes within the context of Jesus teaching.  In Luke, it says that He had been answering a question brought by His disciples about how to pray.  He had taught them the “Lord’s Prayer” (in quotation marks because He did not call it that in the gospels) and went on to add about asking Our Heavenly Father for things (this is the wonderfully comforting passage about seek and you will find).  So in the Luke passage, He is talking to some His closest here on earth and he calls them………….EVIL   My reaction to that in  more contemporary language (although my kids would advise me this is not very contemporary anymore) is “Wow, what a bummer.”

For if Jesus Christ says this about those earthly men closest to him, what does that mean about me?  Exactly!  Well maybe I can feel better if I try to rethink it.  So maybe what He was really trying to do was say was Our Heavenly Father is perfect (I get that) and that I’m not so perfect (again, no argument) so every once in awhile I do some evil, but  I’m still basically and okay person (whew, I can go with that).  But, and it is a huge, unmistakable, unequivocal, but; that is not what Jesus said.  Jesus  did not mince words, did not describe just what we do, but who we are, and He purposely used the word……evil (ugh).  Hey wait just a darn minute!, I respond.  Before I was saved, I didn’t beat my dog, or anyone in my family.  I gave to charities like the American Cancer Society.  I did not tell lies (well only some little white ones).  Jesus says we may do some things which can be classified as “good” but fundamentally we are evil.  Left on our own and to our own desires, we will always have a spirit that is selfish, stubborn, unwilling to help, quick to hurt, quick to do damage to others.  Oh at times we may, actually do something nice, but that will be because we want something in return, or only to someone we know and not to a stranger or because we love them today, until they wrong us and tomorrow we will spitefully deal with them when they hurt us.

Evil, heavy sigh.  This is a downer, Jesus.  The devil would have you think so.  In fact he wants us to think we are so evil that we should not even attempt to have anything to do with a Perfect God.  Who are you to ask from God?  He does not hear the likes of you!  You are a sinner!  He hates you!  Be scared to go to Him.  He will destroy you!  Lies from the father of lies.

What am I to do?  Jesus answers, why do You think I came, to judge you?  To call you evil, then destroy you?  No!  I know full well who you are, and in spite of that I Love You and have come to SAVE YOU.  You are Evil, I am not.  You sin, I have not.  Your sins deserve judgement and death……I WILL PAY THAT PRICE.  Do you want to be good?  Abide in me.  You want to be a new creation?  Believe in me, the One sent from The Father.  Do you want to overcome your evil self, be a branch on My Vine.  I will keep you.  I will change you.  I did not die, so that evil would have power over Me, I rose again to show My Power over evil for all who will come to me.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we praise You, that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to earth for us.  We know that He always spoke the truth.  We humbly testify that His truth is often hard for us to hear.  We pray dear Father, that you would show us that we are poor in spirit so that we can feel the blessings of comfort in Your Spirit that Jesus promised.  Let it be that I honestly see and confess my sins, knowing that in Christ’s Sacrifice, they are forgiven.  Help me, Dear Father to always abide in Jesus Christ, so that I can become the new creation that will live in a more perfect love and find that I can become truly good in You.  That in my transformed self, I will live a life of praise to Your Most Holy Name.  I pray in the name of the one who is truly good, Jesus Christ.

Amen

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