Jesus has been called many things. Among other things, I think of Him as “the Doctor of the soul,” because His parables expose the soul’s rot. And until this rot is exposed, we cannot address it. Inevitably, this exposure is jolting:
- He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 12:54-56)
He called the crowd “hypocrites.” How does this fit in with Jesus’ love? Isn’t love supposed to make us feel good? Love sometimes prescribes radical surgery, however painful it might be! And the crowd needed it.
They were each masters of reading the weather. However, they were in denial about the “present time” – the ubiquitous miracles and fulfilled prophesies that attested to Jesus!
When we are in denial about Jesus, we are also in denial about ourselves. If we are blind to spiritual things, we are also blind to personal things, as Jesus’ next words reflect:
- "Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite." (Luke 12:57-59; NKJV)
We are always right in our own eyes. This blindness comes at a great cost. If we refuse to see our mistakes and moral lapses, we will not try to correct them. Consequently, we will reject the opportunity to make peace with those we have wronged. This will cause an escalation of the problem, in this case, resulting in court and its serious consequence - jail.
Of course, Jesus isn’t simply giving us advice about how to get along with others or even with the court. He is more concerned about our getting along with God. If we refuse to acknowledge our sins and instead convince ourselves of our “moral rectitude,” we will not humble ourselves before the supreme Judge by confessing and asking for His forgiveness. Result – prison, even eternally!