What Lurks Within?
On the way home from teaching my morning class at Southern Bible I got the first news about the devastating floods in Kenya. Trees have been cut down for fuel on the road between Nairobi and Mombasa. As a result, when the rain came to east Kenya, the naked countryside just shed the water and mud. The Associated Press reported that at least fifteen were dead and scores of families displaced. The drought brought starvation, now floods are bringing death. As the floodwaters recede, dark pools of polluted water will remain with the threat of disease. What lurks in those dark pools?
In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus did use flood waters to present the storms of life that expose whether or not we will be wise or foolish, but in today’s Devo he takes an x-ray and exposes what lurks within our hearts.
“Jesus went on: ‘It’s what comes out of a person that defiles them. For from within, out of the heart of a person evil plots, all forms of illicit sexual acts, robberies, murders, adulteries, acts of greed, malicious actions, deceit, living with no restraints, having an eye focused on evil, abusive language, an inflated sense of one’s own importance, a lack of good judgment continually come out. All these evils gush out from inside. This is the stuff that defiles a person.” Mark 7:20-23
Before I blissfully sing, “What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love” and then baptize it with Jesus’ blessing, I need to take a hard look at what he said about the evil that lurks deep inside my heart. Jesus tells us the truth about the human condition without the gracious work of God, and all this stuff gushing out harms others and therefore, one day will be judged by Jesus.
At the beginning of this episode the very religious leaders who confronted Jesus about his disciples not washing their hands right were plotting together how to murder Jesus because they coveted his influence, popularity and power.
In the story about Herod Antipas he committed adultery with his brother’s wife, lusted after her daughter as she sensuously danced, and then responded in pride, without any self-restraint, cutting off John the Baptist’s head. This murderous violence is not just in Herod’s heart or some other present day crazy person. The evil lurking within our own hearts, and if we deny it, we will fail to face the horror and fail to run to Jesus for a new heart.
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