Depravity in the Gospels
Throughout the four Gospels, a troubling echo of depravity bounces off the perfection of Christ. The scribes and Pharisees, cloaking their depravity in law and religion, hate and craftily scheme against the Messiah. Ultimately, they break their own rules and outright murder Him. They mock Him, slight Him, disrespect Him, insult Him, and persecute Him. Caught up in their own perspective of the Scriptures, they miss Who all of Torah taught them about.
The multitudes flock to Christ for what it will get them, yet have no spiritual capacity to understand Christ's preaching. They draw near with their lips, but have hearts that are miles away. In response to hard teaching, they turn away in the same droves they came. They crucify Christ in the same ignorance that they chanted "Hosanna" with. And when Christ is true to His Word and fulfills all of the Old Testament Scripture, still they refuse to believe on Him. Countless healing and miracles weren't enough to stir faith in them. The sign of Jonah wasn't enough. One coming from the dead wasn't enough. The depraved human heart insistently rejects Messiah.
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.
The rejection of the Messiah is a painful thing to watch. It's heart wrenching to see the Son of God named a fraud, to see Him used as a health genie but rejected as the rightful Lord and King. The pettiness, lust, and utter sinfulness of mankind is brought to clear focus when seen beside the Light.
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.
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 in equally clear presentation only by the extent of depravity. Where depravity reigns completely, only a sovereign grace cleanses entirely. Grace is good news for bad people.