Word: 1 John
Before we Word, I just want to mention that this post has a naughty word in it (even naughtier than "crap"), so if you're reading this as a bedtime story for the kids, you may want to reconsider.
It's not all about me?
I'm not sure about you, but most of my life I've assumed that Jesus came to earth and died so I could enjoy a "Get out of Hell" free card. Maybe he came to show people how to be nice and everything, but it was mainly to get me into heaven. This week's passage seems to imply that there was at least one other (maybe even more important?) purpose Jesus had in mind. To kick some devil ass.
Is the devil really horny?
First off, we're talking about the devil and let's just admit up front that that is pretty weird. The Bible seems to be pretty clear that this devil guy is pretty mean and scary, but the way I sometimes see or think about him is more like a comical stereotype. Pointy ears, horns, a cape and a big pitchfork? Pretty scary, huh? (Yes, I realize I'm reinforcing that stereotype with the fork, but you're not the boss of me). Many times he seems more like a funny character on a cartoon versus an evil deity who wants nothing more than to see me live a life of hopelessness and pain.
But the Bible seems to take this devil dude pretty seriously. In fact, it sounds like he's the one who in some sense rules, or is in charge of, this world. And the devil is not a nice ruler. In fact, it sounds like his main goal is to keep people in bondage. That bondage can come in many forms too. It may be obvious stuff like violence or messed up relationships, but I'd suggest that more often than not, the bondage is subtle. Maybe it's a bondage to wealth, greed or power. Maybe it's a bondage to gossip, judgement or pride. Maybe it's a bondage to craft beers, popcorn and iPhones. (Whoa. Little too close to home. Let's move along.)
So let's do a little math, shall we? The devil rules the world and wants to cause as much destruction as possible – plus – all humanity lives in this world – equals – we're screwed. Right?
Jesus knew we were screwed and that was part of the reason he died. To kick some devil ass and free us from our bondage. But why aren't we all walking around free, whole and happy? From what I've heard from people smarter than me, it's because Jesus' death on the cross was the turning point. That is what made it so God wins and the devil loses. But the devil ain't going without a fight. He's got no chance of making a comeback, but he's still trying to do as much damage as possible. Only now, since Jesus has already begun that destruction of the devil's work, we can tap into that and help further God's kingdom which in turn, further destroys the devil's kingdom.
Please remember, I am stupid.
Honestly, I'm not even sure I understand what I wrote in that last paragraph. If you've got questions about the God, the devil and how that whole battle is playing out, PLEASE DO NOT LOOK TO THIS POST FOR ACCURATE INFORMATION. Find yourself a theonerd and pick their brain. They love talking about that stuff. In fact, if any theonerds want to jump in and share their thoughts on the whole God vs. the devil thing, feel free to leave a comment!