Revelations from the Word

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Discerning for oneself what is right

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Then He said to the multitudes, Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, A shower is coming; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be hot weather; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern [dokimazo] the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern [dokimazo] this time? Yes, and why do you not, yourselves, judge [krino] what is right? When you go with your adversary [antidikos] to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle [apallasso] with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite" (Luke 12:54-59).

The Greek verb dokimazo means 'to discern', 'put to the test', 'recognise to be right after testing', whereas the verb krino means 'to sort', 'to select', 'separate', 'put aside', 'to judge'. Jesus says to the crowds that they are capable of discernment for earthly things, but they can't manage to understand or recognise spiritual things, the Kingdom of God. The adversary, antidikos in Greek, is the one who opposes the righteousness of God; therefore Satan cannot stand to see us accepting the righteousness of God. The crowds are thus being led by the adversary before the judge to be damned without even realizing it. In fact, when we don't belong to the Kingdom of God, Satan has the legal right to condemn us; he is our master, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

The people asked questions about the Galileans killed by Pilate and about those killed by the collapse of the tower in Siloam (Luke 13:1-2). And Jesus answered them, "If you do not repent you will all perish in the same way". There is only one way to get free [apallasso] of the grasp of Satan, that is repentance; for the Greek verb apallasso means 'to get free', 'to move aside', 'put an end to'. In fact, repentance is a change of state of mind in relation to God, recognising that one has missed His target and has sinned. That is why repentance brings the forgiveness of God.

When we accept the work of Jesus on the cross, the sentence condemning us, written by divine decree is nailed on this cross (Colossians 2:14). Satan therefore no longer has the legal right over us for this sentence, which condemned us, has been destroyed. He can no longer therefore drag us before the judge since there is no longer any condemnation for the one who is in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1). Repentance is the only way therefore of getting free of our adversary, and putting an end to the influence of Satan in our lives. Through the parable of the fig tree, Jesus explained to His disciples that God had not found the fruit of repentance in Israel during the three and half years of His ministry. That is why He is going to leave some more time for the fig tree to bear fruit before cutting it down (Luke 13:6-9).