Our initial impression of Jesus often becomes the basis of our spiritual focus. The Lord directed Peter to Cornelius. A confused Peter finally understood that he was to introduce Cornelius to Jesus. This was his introduction:

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God appointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38).

These words leap out: "...He went about doing good..., for God was with him." What a beautiful summation of Jesus' ministry! Jesus went about doing good because God was with Him. What a marvelous insight!

You and I have difficulty seeing evil. Sure, we see the evil that tortures us or that personally offends us. But, we do not see all evil in all of its forms and presentations. Jesus did: the evil in hearts, motives, and attitudes as well as the evil in actions and human interaction. Yet, seeing all evil, He went about doing good.

Incredible! Our greatest reasons for refusing to do good arise from our awareness of evil. Evil discourages us. It "turns us off." It intimidates us. It disillusions us. It makes us cynical and judgmental. It powerfully convinces us that it is "wrong" to do good. We find others' evil so offensive that we refuse to do good.

Christians who stumble and fall frustrate us. Godly people who fall prey to evil motives anger us. Evil within the church outrages us. We set other Christians on idealistic pedestals. Then we are disgusted when they fail to meet our expectations.

In all circumstances, Jesus saw evil as we are incapable of seeing it. Yet, He went about doing good.

Jesus was born to do good, lived to do good, died to do good, and He ever reigns to do good. May we follow His leadership. Why? Because God is with us. Remember: the more God's presence fills us, the more good we will do.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 22 December 1996

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