Day 44: Grumbling Blinds (Luke 19:1-27)
Today’s Passage: Luke 19:1-27
I jokingly say that my grumbling is a spiritual gift. Yet grumbling is no joke. It blinds me. Today, the information being gained from brain research is stunning. One lesson is the terrible impact negative self-talk permanently has on brains—and therefore on us.
Jericho provides a case in point. Jesus eats dinner with perhaps one of its most notorious residents: the chief tax collector. Of note is Zacchaeus’ desire to simply see Jesus. His heart was open—and Jesus fills it. The transformation quickly manifests itself with him making restitution to those he has defrauded.
What is that we hear, cheering? No, grumbling.
Out comes another parable. At each turn, these lessons are getting sharper and more emotional. We read of a situation where a king went away for a while. Some people despised him and hoped he would not return. Others, the stewards left in charge, had a wide range of performance.
What is stunning is that upon the kings return, his reaction is swift and fierce. It catches me off guard. I have spent too much time in a republic with a democratic system. “Every vote counts” is not the mantra of this kingdom. Instead it is, “only One vote counts, the king’s.”
Which is a stark reminder for me. I could point out all the faults of the religious of Jesus’ day, but that would not benefit me. I need to remember God is, well, God. God is not looking for our approval. He is not calling committee meetings for input. He is not holding a Listening Tour.
No, God is jealously and ferociously loving his subjects. The list of blessings is long. The desire of his heart is relationship. The request is simple: respond to God’s love.
A world built on love cannot function when the author of that love is rejected. It comes undone. That is why God’s reaction is so swift and severe.
It is also why Jesus’ comments are getting stronger and more intense.
There has been a group of people following him, and all they do is grumble and pick at him, and what he is doing.
They are locked in this negative cycle. It has blinded them. You might think they would simply ignore this person named Jesus. After all, if they think he is nuts because he claims to be God, then why pay attention?