The goodness of God that Jesus expressed in teaching and miracles always had believers swooning in delight; and found unbelievers in various degrees of malevolence rejecting it.
To this day critics want to know why God doesn’t cancel war, poverty and disease. They never ask themselves why their minds are closed and their hearts hard against the Grace of God in Christ. The former gives them a feeling of power: they can actually excuse their rejection of God by posing questions he answers only in his word, but not without study.
Satan’s head-to-head collisions with Jesus resulted in the devil at once beaten to a pulp and Jesus untouched. The writer discussed this in detail in his book Face to Face With Jesus. Why then do humans, likewise encountering Jesus face-to-face, so often ignore, revile or defer him to a later time?
Because Satan knows the facts about Jesus and mortals don’t. If unbelievers had information about Jesus to which Satan is privy—and his knowledge of the Trinity isn’t exhaustive—they wouldn’t so casually consider their opinions important to God. They wouldn’t so confidently assert their limitations against Almighty God’s sovereignty and their opinion against God’s truth.
With that knowledge, Satan knows he must obey when Jesus orders it; bereft of it, mortals think they have a better alternative.
However, Satan’s control of humans can obstruct God’s will, but never overcome it. His influence over mortals has limits. For example, as the Temptations of Jesus proved, the devil didn’t want Jesus to die. Yet he died at the hands of wicked men. Why did the Jewish leaders kill Jesus when Satan wanted to prevent it? Because the devil can influence mortals only to a point, after which he loses control and God asserts his. As Pharaoh’s hostility to God proved, no one, however strong or wrong, gets beyond the authority Jesus possesses and exercises. Satan is a temporary intruder in life against God; he will one day be cast into the Hell created for him and his angels. That will be his end forever and ever. All suffering will then cease and only Joy in God and his Christ will continue. –Fini-
We see good done for people wherever we look in the ministry of Jesus. We see God’s miraculous provisions. But always with different responses. Some works received only encomiums: healing of nobleman’s son John 4:46-54, the first exorcism in Capernaum Mark 1:21-28. Some received accolades with criticism. Approval came from the people, criticism from the leaders: healing the Capernaum paralytic Mark 2:1-12; giving sight to blind men Matthew 9:27-34.
The leaders became increasingly vocal in their malice. Healing the paralytic in John 5 led the Pharisees first to persecute Jesus for the healing, then to killing him for claiming to be God’s Son 5:16,18. After restoring a man’s withered hand in a synagogue, the Herodians gathered to plot a way to kill Jesus Mark 3:1-6. Even the common people grew so fearful of Jesus that they banished him Mark 5:17-18.
Wherever we look in the Bible, God loves people, but critics denounce him for loving too little. God helps people and critics assail him for not doing more. God saves people from sin and critics refuse to believe they need a Savior. God resurrects the dead and critics wish they had remained in the tomb! -End Part I-