What a list (bold above)! The point of the list, however, is to draw the attention of Jersey folk to all the things we see around us in Jersey - things like coveting, sensuality, envy, slander and pride are all too visible. Happily, the last murder that most of us recall was a few years ago, the remainder of the list are evident - in others, we all hasten to add.
Jesus spoke the above in Gennesaret, a place on the shores Lake of Galilee that was regarded at that time - around AD 32 - as the top-place-to-be because of its glorious natural beauty and highly productive agriculture. His point was that the source of all these awful things cannot be seen because they come from within a person. From inside, from beneath a facade. From within all men and women.
H G Wells' enthralling novel "The Invisible Man" tells of a mysterious stranger who comes to stay at the inn of a sleepy village in West Sussex. He arrives covered from head to foot with hat, face bandages, goggles, gloves and clothing. Immediately, a spate of burglaries occur in the village...... Yes, Jack Griffin, a former brilliant medical student is invisible but his activities are visible.
One can imagine many tasks that could be undertaken on behalf of the CIA or Mossad or the Mafia if they could recruit an invisible man. Worse, I have a real fear of what I might actually try to do if invisible - Griffin attempts murder, the very thing that Jersey, happily, sees but rarely.
About 180 years ago leaders in government and business in the western world began to create invisible people, intangible people. In Britain (and, from 1861, in Jersey) these man-created people are called "companies". A company is a separate legal person, separate from its owners and its directors. Could these be used, because of their intangible (invisible) nature, for nefarious purposes?
It did not take long for that to happen. Even now, the fact that the true ownership of Jersey companies is hidden and not available from the public records held by the Jersey Financial Services Commission causes public concern, even anger, when companies do things that are harmful, sinful and wrong. The attempted solution to this has been to require disclosure to the JFSC of true beneficial ownership - the owner's name is unavailable to the public but available to the Jersey authorities (and other authorities in certain circumstances).
But even this limited disclosure is opposed by some - and avoided by many. Avoided because companies operating from Jersey are created not under Jersey Law but under the law of other Islands in the Caribbean and elsewhere – and their true owners are invisible to all.
How interesting then that when we humans create legal persons we find ourselves caught up again in the same problem that Jesus identified in the persons He had created - the hidden, interior problem of the heart.
Immediately after Jesus had disclosed the appearance and nature of the hidden heart, he went to Tyre (same place on the Mediterranean as today) and released the daughter of a Syrian Phoenician lady from the grip of internal heart evil. He still does that in Jersey today.
Wonderfully, John, a key follower of Jesus, wrote an open letter in old age (around AD 90) to all who then followed Jesus , "...we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but when He appears we shall be like him, because we shall see Him as He is."
We all know what Jesus was like - inside - because of what He did - outside. He gave himself to bless his enemies – those who would call on him for forgiveness from internal and external evil.