Hugo and Alice. That’s what we named the two peacock chicks we purchased for my wife on Mother’s Day. To say she was overjoyed would be an overstatement. She doesn’t like animals all that much, but she did like the thought of these little guys keeping snakes away.
In her own way, however, she loved them both, and, for the most part, they seemed to tolerate her.
All was fine until one night when I went to check on them and found Hugo all alone. Someone or something decided it liked Alice more than my wife did. “That’s okay,” she said, “At least I still have Hugo!” Be positive, right?
For months all was fine. So much so that Hugo would come running to my wife when she called him by name. (It’s part of God’s weird sense of humor. How someone who dislikes animals so much would receive the love of all of them.)
It seemed like Hugo the peacock would be with us forever. That is, until one day, there were none. Hugo was gone! All we could find one crisp morning was a pile of feathers. It was a sad sight.
Some monster had snuck up in the dark, stole and killed Hugo, our prized peacock, and sadistically left a pile of feathers for us to find. We were all a little shocked and sad.
The weird thing is that we never saw it coming or even really expected it. One day Hugo was there, and the next, he was gone. We were a little naive about how the enemy of the peacock worked.
As naive as we were about the peacock’s enemy, you don’t need to be naive about your enemy, Satan.
Jesus tells us in John 10:10 precisely what he’s up to so that we won’t be caught off guard. And to encourage us, he tells us that he does the exact opposite. He said, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they (you) may have life and have it abundantly.”
If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between Satan and Jesus, there you have it. You can’t have a more contrasting life mission than that. It tells us why Jesus is better than Satan.
Here are three ways Jesus is better than Satan.
1. Satan only comes to steal what isn’t his. Jesus comes to give you what is his.
Satan has only ever been a thief. He wants to steal your joy, your hope, your purpose, your faith, your sanity, your peace… need I go on?
Jesus came to give you all of those things by giving you his life. He gave us himself. In fact, the only thing Jesus ever takes from you is your sin, guilt, shame, and the punishment that goes with it. In turn, he gives us his presence where there is fullness of joy and hope forevermore. He becomes the source of our faith and hope. He’s the one who renews our mind and gives us the peace that passes understanding.
2. Satan only comes to kill. Jesus comes to give you eternal life.
Satan has been a murderer from the beginning. Have you ever noticed that after he enticed Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of good and evil, he enticed Cain to murder his brother Abel?
He only ever wants to kill God’s people and see them experience what the Bible calls the second death. Which is an eternity in hell.
Jesus came to take away our sin, which causes death in this life and the next, and give us life. And not just any old boring life but a rich, satisfying and abundant life. Not only on this world but for all eternity.
3. Satan only comes to destroy all that is good. Jesus comes to restore what is good.
Satan has only ever wanted to destroy everything good. He has no good in him. And is full of malice, hate, lies, and deceit. He hates Jesus, his purpose, and his children.
Let me be clear. Satan literally wants to destroy everything good in your life. He does this through sin and deception. Have no part in his wicked schemes.
Jesus came to restore His goodness in our lives. There is no good in this world without him. He took our sin, everything that destroyed our relationship with God, and gave us his goodness. That’s why we are called righteous in his sight.
Do not be deceived, and don’t be naive. Jesus has nothing in common with Satan. As the scriptures tell us, “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Talk it over
- How often do you focus on the goodness of Jesus?
- What can you do to guard against the strategies of Satan?
- What’s your prayer life like?
- Look up Ephesians 6:10-20. What is it telling you?