Jeremiah 13:23 - Our Fallen Natures Need Jesus for Healing.

Jer.13:23; Our Fallen Natures Need Jesus for Healing.

Jer 13:23 (KJV)  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the 
leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do 

Jer 13:23 (NIV)  Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the 
leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing 

Jer 13:23 (TEV)  Can a black man change the color of his skin, 
or a leopard remove its spots?  If they could, then you that do 
nothing but evil could learn to do what is right. 

The question is rhetorical: Can a black person change the color 
of his skin or a leopard its spots? The answer is clearly no. 
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary] 

The passage shows how difficult it is for anyone to liberate 
himself from the innate tendency to sin. [Expositors Bible Commentary] 

A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, once asked a turtle to 
carry him across a river on his back. "Are you mad?" exclaimed the 
turtle. You'll sting me while I'm swimming and I'll drown." 
The scorpion laughed as he replied, "My dear turtle, if I were 
to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now, 
what would be the point of that? I won't sting you. It would mean my 
own death!" 
The turtle thought about the logic of the scorpion's argument 
for a moment, then said, "You're right. Hop on!" The scorpion 
climbed aboard and halfway across the river, he gave the turtle a mighty 
As the turtle began to sink to the bottom of the river with the 
scorpion on its back, it moaned in dismay, "After your promise, you still 
stung me! Why did you do that? Now we're both doomed!" 
The drowning scorpion sadly replied, "I couldn't help it. It's 
my nature to sting." [God's Little Devotional Bible] 

This people are so accustomed to doing evil that they don't even 
know how to do good! [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

When a person becomes "accustomed to doing evil" sin becomes a 
habit. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion] 

Custom in sin is a very great hindrance to conversion from sin. 
The disease that is inveterate is generally thought incurable. Those 
that have been long accustomed to sin have shaken off the restraint 
of fear and shame; their consciences are seared; the habits of sin 
are confirmed; it pleads prescription; and it is just with God to 
give those up to their own hearts' lusts that have long refused to 
give themselves up to his grace. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

God never rejects those who sincerely turn to him. God is 
warning them to repent before it becomes impossible to change. We must 
never put off until tomorrow those changes God wants us to make. Our 
attitudes and patterns for living can become so set that we will lose all 
desire to change and will no longer fear the consequences.  [Life 
Application SB] 

Sin is not a harmless companion we can drop at will. [Disciple 

Here is set forth the futility of any human endeavor to overcome 
evil apart from the power of God. [SDA Commentary] 

The proverb did not mean it was impossible for the people to 
change, but that they could not hope to reform on their own. God alone 
could work such miraculous changes. [Quest SB] 

Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; 
we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any 
power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's 
skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an 
obstacle to the working of God. [Matthew Henry Commentary] 

We often try to change by making resolutions to do what we know 
to be right. But change doesn't happen overnight, and we don't have 
the power to do it alone. Taking action is a good thing to do, but 
if we set out to change in our own power, we will be sure to fail. 
Our actions will produce no lasting changes in our life. We must 
begin by admitting that we are powerless to change. This is the first 
step toward allowing God to transform our heart and life from the 
inside out. If we are willing to cooperate, God can and will make 
permanent changes in our Life. [Life Recovery SB] 

When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes 
possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never 
accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural 
element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes 
His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends 
that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept 
in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the 
assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of 
Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be 
under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that 
are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary 
for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness 
in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to 
ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate 
with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, 
and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is 
the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His 
righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist 
the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation 
to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part 
company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the 
surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. 
Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, 
we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the 
end.  DA324   

Jer. 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and 
desperately wicked: who can know it?  

Heb. 10:16 (KJV) This is the covenant that I will make with them 
after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their 
hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 

Rev. 3:20 (KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any 
man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and 
will sup with him, and he with me.