There are actually some people who welcome facing hard truths. I’m not one of them, but surely there has to be one! Dr. David Hawkins once said “Healing always involves facing truths we’d rather not face and accepting responsibility we’d rather not accept.”
I wonder why that is? What is it about facing up to reality that is so difficult for we humans? Is it just a fear of having to change? Or maybe it’s about the fear of being uncomfortable? Regardless, all of us, to one degree or another, have moments in our lives when facing the truth is something we work really hard to ignore.
And no matter how many times that ends badly for us (and it always does) when it comes time to face the truth later, we will probably make the same mistake again! It’s almost like being a slave, isn’t it? But what if there is a way out?
Look at our lesson today in Luke 20:1-8:
At that time, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question; now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know whence it was. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
By this time in our Lord’s earthly ministry the end game for Him and His message was set. And His enemies were working overtime how to break the bond He had with the regular people. The “intelligentsia” were already sworn enemies of the Lord and His message, and most of the religious leaders were too. That’s why when Jesus started teaching the people in the Temple, the leaders went to demand why He thought He had the right to do this teaching in “their” house!
Of course, Jesus saw clearly through their shallow demands, knowing full well they had no intentions of hearing the answer to their question in the first place. They were just trying to reestablish their “authority” to keep the people in the dark! So our Lord dealt with them accordingly. Since they weren’t interested in facing the truth – the Truth that He was, in fact, the Messiah; the Truth that He was their Lord in the flesh; the Truth that the Temple was His House! They missed the Truth because they actively chose blindness.
So, the keys to avoiding such blindness lies in overcoming the temptations that trapped these blind people.
First, Humility! Humility protects you from the fear of facing the Truth because you are already soft hearted enough to know you need the truth. All too often we are blind to the Truth because we fail to appreciate just how desperately we need it (Him).
Next, Fidelity. Faithfulness to being attentive to my need for the Truth sets me free to so value the Truth that I joyfully embrace it (Him). It’s when I launch out on my own, in my own strength, in my own short sightedness, that I move away from the well worn path of a life awake towards God that I stumble. Then my pride traps me in a series of self justification that only deepens my own blindness.
Finally, Dependency. When I discover just how life-giving the Truth is for my own soul, I willingly love the Truth more than I fear my distance from the Truth. My self inflicted blindness dissipates in the Face of Him Who is Truth Himself and the freedom He offers me overcomes the tug of the slavery of selfishness. What a love that sets me free and offers me my truest self if only I’ll Face Him knowing He will never reject me, but only wants my freedom.
Today, where are you blind to the Truth? Are you willing to so prioritize the wisdom of the Faith so that your life is protected from self destructive blindness to the Truth that will set you free? Don’t fall for the easy slavery of blindness to the Truth, even when it feels painful, because if you are brave enough to face Him, He will make you Orthodox on Purpose!
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