These verses are so descriptive of what it’s like to live in the world before we know and follow Jesus. At one time, we ALL lived to “gratify the cravings of our flesh and follow its desires and thoughts.” The driving force of our decisions and purpose, the center of our lives, the governing power: our flesh’s cravings. What a humbling reminder for us all. As we spend more and more time following Jesus, it can feel as though our B.C. (before Christ) days get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. On the one hand, what a joy! That’s how far Jesus has removed our sin from us.
On the other hand, I think it’s also appropriate for us to pause and remember how lost we were, how right we thought we were, and how much in need of our Savior we actually were then and now. I believe that as we keep that in mind, we are able to do what Jesus did and look onto the crowds (our world) with compassion. The starting line in our faith isn’t for us to stay there, but to look back and remember that we’ve all been behind that line, and yet God has brought us and continues to take us so far past it!