Depravity in the Gospel
Throughout the four Gospels, a troubling echo of depravity bounces off the perfection of Christ. The religious leaders, cloaking their depravity in law and religion, hate and craftily scheme against the Messiah. They slight Him, disrespect Him, insult Him, and persecute Him. Ultimately, they break their own rules and outright murder Him.
The multitudes flock to Christ for what they can get, yet have no spiritual capacity to understand His preaching. They draw near with their lips, but have hearts that are miles away. They turn away in the same droves they came in. They cry "Crucify" with the same ignorance with which they chanted "Hosanna." Even the disciples are shockingly fleshly at times. Whether it's seeking preeminence or having no faith or failing to understand Christ's teaching, the disciples themselves show us that even the spiritually sincere are depraved.
When I read the Gospels, I can see myself. My own heart's tendencies are to use Christ for my good while rejecting His lordship over my life. I waver between faith and disobedience, between worship and apathy. The guilt, blameworthiness, and depravity of Jew and Gentile in the time of Christ is mine as well.
In remarkable contrast, the Gospel is amazingly good news for amazingly wretched people. The blindness of the human heart is pitiful; the grace of our patient, gentle, and loving Savior is magnificent. In the Gospels, the greatness of grace is matched only by the extent of depravity. Where depravity reigns completely, only a sovereign grace cleanses entirely. Grace is good news for bad people. It is good news for us.