What did Jesus mean when he referred to people like us as evil parents (Matthew 7:11)?
If some in the crowd thought he was insulting them, they may have been hearing what he said rather than what he meant.
Who needed most to hear his heart when he said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:11); after saying, “don’t give what is sacred to dogs or your pearls to pigs” (7:6); after calling the crowd that included his friends and disciples hypocrites for making an issue of what they saw in the eyes of others (7:3-5); after urging them to trust the heart of their Father in heaven (6:25-34)?
Strong’s Lexicon shows that the original word (here translated evil) wasn’t limited to witches, devils, and unbelievers, but rather referred to “the negative moral quality of a person or action opposed to God and his goodness”.
I wonder how many of us learned to see “them” rather than “us” as “evil” and “wicked”. If so, could that be one reason we underestimate how much the Father—who urges us to come to him for help— loves us, and them?
Note: If you have— or can take the time— I think Andy Stanley has given us words that I wish everyone could hear. His 28 minute message is so needed and timely!!