The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
Herein is the problem. Jesus spoke clearly, simply, and openly about sin and the dangers of it. Those that heard Him did not have the understanding that they were involved in sin, but once He spoke they realized their sin, which caused their cloke (outward covering) to be removed. They had no more covering in which to hide their sin, because of this they hated Him.
It’s the same today. Just by reading the Bible, especially by reading the words of the Savior from His famous sermon on the mount found in Matthew 5-7, individuals are brought face to face with their own wrongdoings. When this happens one of two actions will take place. The person will deal with their sin by repentance and obedience, or they will reject the words of Jesus and stay as far away from Him as possible.
Let’s say that every time you go to the doctor you are told to lose weight. No doubt this is good advice, but the actuality of losing weight is not easy. To reduce what one weighs takes self-denial, continually staying on a healthy diet, and usually hunger pangs. Who wants to do that for months on end? So, you stay away from the doctor’s office, or simply tune out the physician’s warnings. The same is true with the Lord.
For example take Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Have you tried this? It’s difficult. Oh, it’s okay for a day, maybe a week, a month…perhaps. But a lifetime? A lifetime of allowing another to curse you, hate you, despitefully use you, and persecute you. All the while, you are loving them, blessing them, doing good unto them, and praying for them. To not obey this teaching of the Lord is sin. So, faced with this truth, someone will either obey the Lord or ignore Him, and even grow to hate Him resulting in staying away from Him, His Word, and His people.
Before He spoke about the way to treat one’s enemy, it was “an eye for an eye”, it was “hate your enemies”, but now upon hearing Him a new way of life is presented. A life of love, forgiveness and prayer. The cloke of not knowing how to properly treat the enemy has been removed. The only question that remains is will obedience to the teaching become a lifelong diet against hate. Will obedience commence and continue, or will sin continue to reign? After all, now that it is out in the open, it must be dealt with one way or the other.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.