One of the most common questions “Why do bad things happen to good people?” usually comes from people that really don’t want to believe to begin with. This morning it occurred to me that most of the answers to this question come from the wrong angle.
There’s a story recorded in the Gospel of Mark about a young man coming to Jesus for answers. He says, “Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Wow! So there we have it from the mouth of Jesus himself-THERE IS NONE GOOD.
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus addresses the issue of bad things happening to good people head on. Some folks came to Jesus to inquire about an incident when Pilate had some Galileans killed, and Jesus took the opportunity to get them to take a look at themselves. He said, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
When it comes to seeing people as bad and good most are not using the correct standard. The next time I am asked “why do bad things happen to good people?” I’m going to take that opportunity to say “They don’t!” According to Jesus there are no “Good people.”
This strikes at the core of our problem don’t you think? We walk around comparing ourselves to one another. We look at others and see all of their faults in an attempt to make ourselves look better. This too is the result of our being infected by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We, along with Adam, have been deceived since the beginning thinking we, independently of God, can make ourselves like him. God, on the other hand, doesn’t see us as bad but dead. We walk around attempting to make ourselves good and God is offering us life. Jesus came here not to make us good but to give us life.
The result of eating from the forbidden tree is just as God said in the beginning; we died spiritually. There is no dead person that has ever succeeded in making themselves good or better. No, we need life given to us from a source outside of ourselves and that is exactly what God is offering us in his son Jesus Christ. He told us “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Comparing ourselves to one another is really just proof that we still hold out a little hope that we can make ourselves “Like God.” It isn’t until we discover this to be the root of deception that we will come to see our real need. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the father but by me.” He is what we need. In 1 John 5:12 we have the truth. “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” I couldn’t put it any better than that.
Written by Louie