When God Doesn’t Make Sense: Corruption and Justice
We find ourselves in a bit of an awkward situation today, don’t we? This whole idea of not gathering in one place to worship God, and celebrate together, is a bit strange. As strange as this experience may seem, it is an unforeseen opportunity to worship together, with you, in a different way. We are not meeting in a concrete building, obviously, but we are meeting one another in the depths of prayer. And it is in prayer today that we experience communion. Communion with God, God’s Son Jesus Christ, and communion with one another through this common prayer and common prayer time we are now sharing. THIS is the beautiful comunion, the community of the Holy Spirit.
I wonder though if this experience seems unjust to you? Does it seem like the people in authority have made unjust decisions that have now placed you in an awkward position? Do you think the wrong people are in charge? Or maybe you feel like God should have done something about this COVID-19 issue, but he didn’t. Are you upset about THAT?
Do you ever wonder why God does something or does not do something? If so, you have come to the right place because for the last four weeks we have talked about things that God does, or doesn’t do, that just don’t make sense to us.
We’ve looked at when God tells us “no.” We talked about suffering and death. And last week, we examined why God can seem so uncooperative.
If you missed any of these messages, or you would like to share them, you can find them on our website: saintmary.life
Today we are looking at why God seems to allow the wrong people to be in charge. Why does God allow corrupt people, or people who abuse their power, or just the wrong people to rule?
You’ve probably wondered about that at one time or another. Viewing the world stage, the question looms ever larger: leadership in places like North Korea, Iran, or Syria; or looking at regimes like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Soviet Union, its impossible not to ask “Why?”
You have probably seen it up close and personal too. For example, you may have wondered how God allows a certain teacher or a coach to stay in their position of authority when they have had a negative impact on the people in their care.
Or maybe it is something like someone in your HomeOwners Association or some Professional association. They’re just so outspoken and unhelpful, so contentious.
It could be a problem with work. Maybe your boss is arrogant and doesn’t listen to people. Or you have seen how the leadership of your company is corrupt in certain ways and seems to drive away all the best people, and you wonder when it is going to catch up with them.
And then there is the Church. Ooooof –my goodness. How does God allow people who abuse their authority to stay in power in the church? We see bad examples of church pastors and leaders and wonder why God doesn’t do something.
Why does God allow people who are corrupt or unjust to remain in charge? And what does this have to do with the injustice of the coronavirus, COVID-19? To examine these questions more closely, we are going to look at the gospel we just heard.
Jesus heals and restores the sight of a blind man who everyone knew was born blind. Which, in turn, causes quite a commotion.
The crowd brings the blind man to their religious leaders, who were called Pharisees. Historically the Pharisees had made a significant contribution to the life of the nation of Israel. But at this point, as a group, they had descended into corruption and greed. They were self-serving leaders. And what do you think they thought about the healing of this blind man?
Well, the Pharisees opposed Jesus, mostly because they were jealous of his popularity and furious that he rejected THEIR playbook. So, they lost no opportunity to oppose him, and this would be no different. They had no intention of accepting the idea that Jesus was a miracle worker, which would only serve to widely expand Jesus’ popularity. So they had to both discredit and dismiss this incident.
Ironically, the pharisees and other religious leaders were supposed to be the ones who would recognize the Messiah when he came. The prophet Isaiah had predicted that a definitive sign of the arrival of the Messiah would be his ability, SPECIFICALLY, to — open — the — eyes — of — the — blind, just like Jesus did for this blind fellow.
But rather than recognize Jesus, as Messiah, they fought to discredit him. These guys are blind, blind to the truth standing literally before their eyes. That is often what can be so exasperating right, so exasperating about self-serving leaders, their refusal to admit when they are wrong.
Then the Pharisees treated this former blind man with complete injustice and threw him out of the synagogue. Jesus sought him out and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man asked, “Who is he, that I might believe?” Jesus then reveals himself as the Messiah. The man in turn worships him. He comes to a personal relationship with Christ.
No matter what injustice you have experienced or your kids have experienced, or your family has experienced, because of the misuse of authority, the Lord stands ready to comfort you and REVEAL himself to you, which can happen most effectively in consistent daily prayer. Talking to him, like the man born blind did. He sought Jesus out and talked to him.
This gospel passage points out the corruption and injustice of the pharisees. The gospel also shows us that even in the midst of injustice and misuse of authority, God can do great works.
For example, right now we have this virus, right? Like injustice and misuse of authority, obviously the virus is a bad thing, but. . . if we are like the blind man and draw close to Jesus, even when things are tough, Jesus will help us to see. That is, he will transform our vision to see beyond injustice, and a health threat like this virus, and grow in relationship with him.
So. . . this is what we want you to know this week. This coronavirus is an injustice to those who suffer innocently, no doubt about it. But God is asking us to see beyond bad things in this world. Yes, we acknowledge the bad things, but we must also acknowledge God’s good presence in the midst of the bad.
This is what we want you to do. God is asking us to open our eyes, to open our eyes to see how we can grow in relationship with him during this time of struggle. How is this virus a chance for you to reach out to Jesus and allow him to transform your sight so that you may see more clearly how you can have a better relationship with him? Can you find more time to pray as an individual and as a family?
I’ll repeat that. How is this virus a chance for you to reach out to Jesus and allow him to transform your sight so that you may see more clearly how you can have a better relationship with him? Can you find more time to pray as an individual. Can you find more time to pray as a family?