Jesus in the Gospels (5)

Can good deeds be evil?

“’This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”’ John 3:19, NIV. Jesus spoke to the Jews who made every effort to obey the entire Torah, the law of Moses. In the eyes of ordinary people, the teachers of the law were perfect because they performed the good deeds of the law always, and with greater precision than anyone else. They were so meticulous in showing the good deeds of the law that they avoided close contact with the ordinary people so they would not be defiled by “worthless” humanity. Jesus, however, saw beyond the obvious. He knew the mind of the experts in the law of Moses, and He recognized their deeds for what they are– evil.

“’Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and performed many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” Mathew 7:22, 23, NIV. We could not find fault with the deeds mentioned above, from a human perspective. Also, if we were to see these deeds performed in the name of Jesus, we would be impressed. However, Jesus calls those who performed such deeds “evildoers,” why? He answers, “‘ Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.'” Mathew 7:15, NIV. 

Those who do the deeds and rely on the works of the law are evildoers because their deeds are not devoid of self. They were full of self, in everything they did. Therefore, their deeds were evil because they performed them in the spirit of Satan, who became God’s enemy. After all, he was full of self. Satan, in his pride, announced: “I will ascend,” “I will raise my throne,” “I will,”; “I will,” “I will,”; no one else but I!  Satan’s sympathizers emulate him by performing many good deeds in the spirit of Satan by being full of self. When the people see their “I,” they cannot see Jesus; and therefore, they do not see the pure Light because Jesus is the only Light to the world.

Those who come to Jesus Christ become the yielded believers because they have crucified their “I” so that Christ can live in them. They come to the Light so that it will be visible who they have become, in Jesus Christ. Because of the Cross of Christ, they have become the children of God, and it shows. When the yielded believers come to the Light, it becomes evident they do their deeds in God. John 3:21. Our own “I” cannot, and it should not coexist with Jesus Christ in us. Our mind has room for one Master only, and it must be Jesus Christ always. “Not I but Christ” should be the motto of the yielded believers always.

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Dan Lazich

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