Why Do You Call Me Good? ( by Carley Evans )

When the young rich man calls Jesus a ‘good teacher,’ Jesus immediately responds, “Only God the Father is good; why do you call Me good?”

What’s Jesus mean? He’s the Son of God! He’s perfect!

The author of Hebrews writes of Jesus learning obedience and so attaining perfection, as if Jesus is not born perfect. Jesus, after all, spends 40 days and nights in the wilderness where He is tempted by Satan himself. Jesus withstands each temptation, triumphing. In the garden of Gethsemane, again He is tempted — almost to the point of death — by Satan himself to renounce God the Father’s plan, and escape the cross of Calvary. But, Jesus withstands this ultimate temptation and prevails against evil.

If Jesus’ self-perception is that only the Father is good, how is it that any one of us feels justified to claim holiness? Rather, shouldn’t we, along with our Lord, say: “Good? Me? Why do you call me good?”

Father God, give us humility. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


“Go, Get Out Of Here” (by Carley Evans)

Jesus has appointments — specific times and certain places He must be. Pharisees locate Him as He travels between towns on His way to Jerusalem. They warn Jesus, “Go, get out of here! Herod wants to kill You!” (Luke 13:31, HCSB)

But Jesus responds, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look! I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete My work.’ Yet I must travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem!” (Luke 13:32-33)

Jesus is determined to make His appointment. He is not going to be early and certainly will not be late. In the meantime, He goes about His usual business of “driving out demons and performing healings” while He travels to His final destination — Jerusalem and the cross at Golgotha.

Dear Heavenly Father, we are grateful to Jesus, Your Son, for His willingness and yes — determination — to make His appointment. We thank You that You gave Him up for us, and that He loved You so much that He willingly died a cursed death  for our salvation. To You be the glory. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

A Spectacle of Fear; An Easy Calm

“What preserves the order of things?” asks Bill the Butcher in the film, GANGS OF NEW YORK. “The spectacle of fear. If someone steals from me, I cut off his hands. If someone insults me, I cut out his tongue.” Our adversary, like Bill the Butcher, hopes for us to live in fear, in misgiving and anxiety, in utter terror if he can manage to bring us to that condition. For Satan, putting us into a state of fear and keeping us there “preserves the order of things” for him.

God, instead, desires and plans to rescue us from fear. His perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment. If we fear punishment, we are yet to be made perfect in and through His love. His love, as is demonstrated on the cross of Calvary when He gives up His only Son as a ransom for us, rescues us from anxiety, fear, and the utter terror Satan tries to bring upon us.

God achieves this casting out of fear through Christ living “in [our] hearts through faith — that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19,ESV)

In being “filled with all the fullness of God” there is no room for fear, misgiving, anxiety or terror. For where there is love, there is an easy calm.

Father God, we praise You for rescuing us from sin, for bringing us Your love and gaining for us freedom from fear. Your love saves us from Satan’s “order of things,” from his “spectacle of fear.” In Jesus’ Name, amen.