I really like apples. There’s nothing better than biting into a cold, crisp apple and enjoying the sweet juicy meat underneath that delicious red exterior. But sometimes, that first bite reveals a worm, thrashing about after being disturbed. There’s never a hole, so how does the worm get inside?
The answer to that question can tell us a lot about our sinful natures.
It may surprise you, but the worm was actually born inside the apple. That’s right; during the summer months, tiny fruit flies buzz through apple orchards looking for a place to deposit eggs. After the female finds a sweet apple that is ripening on the tree, she inserts her ovipositor (a long, slender, hollow tube) into the apple, and releases her eggs into the body of the fruit.
Soon thereafter, the eggs hatch into tiny white, flightless worms. These “railroad worms” are always hungry as they grow, and they eat the fruit into which they were born. This creates the tunnels we see inside infested apples.
Eventually, the apple falls from the tree and the worm crawls out and burrows into the ground. The worm then succumbs to the transformation of nature into a fruit fly that winter, and the cycle repeats itself the next season.
That is the way sin is, in us. It is born into us.
Or perhaps, we are born in it!
In the aftermath of King David’s tremendous sin with Bathsheba, he penned these words:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:1-12)
The Bible teaches over and again that we are born sinners who choose to continue sinning. Like the apple with a worm born on its inside, we are born with sin on our inside. That is why we so desperately need Jesus.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)