If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? ~ Matthew 7:11
Nothing speaks more to the liberation of Jesus’s doctrine in contrast to that of the scribes and the Pharisees as the words of Jesus referenced above.
The people had been held as prisioners under the religious doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees for so long, they must have thought of themselves as “evil”, for who could live up to the religious demands of the scribes and Pharisees?
Often the pure in heart feel as if they are evil because they can’t live up to the demands that religiously sanctimonious leaders imposed on them. Unlike the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus’s words gave life.
When Jesus says, “if you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children”, it seems contextally, to be a play on words, for in the beginning of his sermon he addresses the poor in spirit, the meek, the mourning, the pure in heart, and those who were hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Certainly these are not traits of those who are evil.
I don’t think Jesus was really calling the people evil, but but driving home a point to those weary with the religious beat down of the scribes and Pharisees. Just maybe Jesus smiled as he says, “if you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your Father in Heaven know how to give good gifts to his children?”
Imagine the hope and joy that must have resonated in the hearts of the people when they realized they weren’t the evil servants of a harsh God, as proclaimed by the scribes and Pharisees. Instead, they were the blessed children of a good God, who was their loving Father!