Day 100 – Unfair God?
Two very different characters have given us a lot to think about over these last few days in Luke chapter 7. We have found John, the prophet whom Jesus described as greater than any man born of woman, languishing in prison and seeking confirmation of who Jesus really was as he contemplates the possibility of a gruesome end. A prostitute, by contrast, worships at Jesus’s feet as she is overcome with joy at her freedom and the hope of new life. Topsy turvy or what? “What sort of justice are we seeing here”, I hear a cynic cry.
But this is the world of grace, where worthiness is measured, not by what we’ve done, but by our response to God’s unwarranted love. Is it fair? Absolutely not. And then, why did an anointed man like John come to such a prematurely sticky end. Is that fair? Again, absolutely not! What sort of reward is that for a life of sacrificial obedience?
The error with both these scenarios is that they place me and what I’ve done at the centre. If we start from the perspective of a gracious and loving God who responded to the problem of mankind’s self-centredness and sin by intervening Himself through the sacrifice of His own Son … then things start to look a little different. To quote from the hymn “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”: the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
If I place myself at the centre, God may well appear unjust and life unfair. If I place God at the centre, I will see that my own view of justice is distorted and His grace is a much better option. And the temporary fluctuations of our current condition will be transcended by life eternal.
To put this into practice will be both unnatural and counter-cultural and will require a dose of faith and discipline to quieten the clamour of our own passion and ego.
Plenty to chew over!