It Takes Bad News
If you haven’t heard the bad news, can you really hear the good news?
by Tim Archer
Sometimes it takes bad news to make you appreciate good news. When you’re rich and happy, it’s hard to feel like you need anything. When everyone’s healthy and everyone’s content, who needs change? If you’re not sick, do you have any interest in a cure? No one is really interested in a solution until they accept the fact that there is a problem.
That may be why Jesus said it was hard for rich people to enter His kingdom. Not because He would discriminate against them, but because they probably wouldn’t be as interested. It’s the people who know that they need something that are interested in what Jesus has to offer. Jesus put it this way: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Rest is offered to those who are weary and burdened; those who are at ease don’t need this offer of rest.
We need a bit of bad news to appreciate the good news, God’s good news, the news that we can be cleansed of our sin, accepted into His family, and live with Him forever. As long as we are totally satisfied with the way things are, we won’t be interested in the possibility of something better.
But for all of us there’s a time when we need good news. We need hope. Illness comes, loneliness surrounds us, money becomes scarce, or perhaps we just become fed up with our own inability to be the people we know we should be. That’s when we’re ready to hear a message of hope, to hear the good news that God has to offer.
- Think about the ways in which Good News would have been welcomed by the discouraged returnees to Jerusalem upon seeing disappointment surrounding them 365 degrees.
- What would you have wanted to say to them?