When a young doctor prefaces a diagnosis with those five dreaded words, “For a person your age,” one knows things are starting to go south.  Whether it is a doctor, mechanic, teacher or boss, a diagnosis is often softened by such a euphemism.  The mechanic might say, “Your car should have lots of miles left in it.” The teacher might say, “Your child is very cheerful and active.”  The boss could say, “I’ve noticed you have lots of friends here.”  Most people would recognize that the other shoe is about to drop and the results will not be favorable.

God quickly diagnosed a problem when Adam and Eve hid themselves from His presence (Gen 3: 7).  He asked them if they had eaten from the forbidden tree (Gen 3: 11).  His diagnosis was made easier when He saw that they were no longer naked and were covered by fig leaves. Their prognosis was indeed very painful and long lasting (Gen 3: 16-19).  The first human born, Cain, also heard an unfavorable diagnosis after killing his brother, Abel (Gen 4: 7) and a hard prognosis (Gen 4: 11-12).

Throughout the history of mankind the Godhead always knew the sin that bubbled in people’s heart was ready to produce evil deeds(Gen 6: 5) (1 Ch 28: 9) (Ps 53: 1) (Jer 4: 14) (Jer 17: 9).

Jesus Christ was able to diagnose people’s heart problems and the diagnosis was nearly always a rebellious attitude and a prideful spirit. He was able to diagnose the thoughts and intents (Heb 4: 12-13 KJV) of the heart of Simon the Pharisee (Lk 7: 39-47), the hearts of the chief priests and teachers of the law (Mt 20: 18-19), and of Judas who would betray him (Jo 13: 21 & 27).  We could find many other examples during his earthly ministry and in Revelation (Rev 3: 15-17).

We are also vulnerable and our diagnosis is the same—a sin of the heart (Rom 3: 23).  King David accepted his diagnosis of adultery and murder and his prognosis was a broken and contrite heart (Ps 51: 1-17).  Today Jesus has given mankind a clear prognosis; repent, obey and renew (Acts 2: 38) (Rom 12: 1-2).

–Jim Bailey