Luke 13:2 Jesus responded, “Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Not at all. (The Message Bible)
Most of us grew up in school systems where grades were given regularly on report cards and we knew they were important. The better the grades the more likely you were to get privileges around school, get into a better college, and end up with a more lucrative job. If you were on the other end of the spectrum, you were likely to have a much harder time, or at least we feared so. Many people came to view God in a similar manner, dispensing rewards to those who performed in a superlative way while punishing those who didn’t make the grade. The above verse is one place among several where Jesus says that is not an accurate picture. We don’t know why some people seem to get a greater degree of suffering than others, but Jesus assured us that there was not a one-to-one correlation between being bad and having bad things happen to you. That is not necessarily good news. Most of us take comfort in believing that we can manipulate the system to our advantage, that we can be good enough to avoid tragedy, that if we are vigilant all will be well. Without such a system we are helpless in the hands of a God who we cannot totally comprehend. Well, yes, maybe there is more going on with God and God’s ways than we can completely understand. What do you think?