for lent this year i am reading through the gospel according to matthew through a reading plan on youversion.com called “lent for everyone.” in addition to the daily reading from matthew there are some thoughts from n.t. wright. here is part of what he said from today’s reading (matthew 21:23-46).
i was taking a service in a local church when this passage was the second reading. over at the side of the church was a family with a three-year-old boy who appeared to be playing with his toys, taking no notice of the service. but when the reader finished this parable, about the wicked tenants who beat up the owner’s messengers and finally kill his son, there was a momentary pause; and, in the silence, the boy’s voice stood out loud and clear: ‘that’s not a very nice story!’
well, no, it isn’t, and that’s part of the point. we come to the gospels hoping and imagining that they are going to be ‘nice’; that we will find a JESUS WHO tells us it’s all right, we don’t have to worry, nobody’s going to get hurt, no one will even be cross. but with the world the way it is, if GOD doesn’t get cross about it HE is not a good GOD. if HE doesn’t do something about it, sooner or later, HE’s quite simply not GOD.
i hope you know the GOD WHO is rightfully cross every now (while always loving) and the gospel that isn’t just nice, safe, and comfortable.