The other day I was listening to a discussion about homosexuality. One side was pro-gay marriage in the Christian Church. The other side had a more traditional understanding of marriage. Now I’m not writing this post to be about homosexuality, but the context is important because it was from this discussion that a big realization came to me. The pro-gay marriage side said something along the lines of “God is fair, so why would he create some people to get married and others not to?” That is when it hit me…. God doesn’t make us equal, and Jesus never claimed to be fair.
Now maybe I’m going to upset a some people by saying that, but I think there is a lot of truth to it. Think about it, was it fair that Jesus picked twelve blue-collar guys to be his disciples instead of all the educated Jewish young men who had trained their whole lives to be a disciple of a rabbi? Was if fair that Jesus healed some people but not others? Was it fair that Jesus raised some people from the dead, but not others? Was it fair that Jesus told Peter, Andrew, and John to simply come and follow him, but the rich young ruler had to sell all his things first? What about the mercy shown to the woman caught in adultery? What about the loyal older brother in the prodigal’s son parable? Is it fair that Gentiles were simply welcomed into the faith without having to go through all the rituals, observances, and careful study that the Jewish believers had lived through? Is there really anything in the Bible that leads you to believe Jesus was fair?
The truth of the matter is that we are not all created equal and we don’t all get equal treatment, at least not in the sense a lot of people take that to mean. I was born a white male in a middle class American family. Is it fair that someone else was being born to a dirt poor Indonesian family that same day? I certainly didn’t do anything to earn these blessings, no more than those born to poor families are any more deserving of their status. I know people who were born with same-sex attractions that straight people will never have to wrestle with… is that fair? One of my good friends is a quadriplegic who can only really control her head while I could get up and go for a walk or sit here and type this blog whenever I wanted.
So what am I getting at, that God and Jesus loved some people more than others? Not at all! God made Paul to be a Pharisee and a Roman Citizen for His purposes, just as he made Peter to be a fisherman and a loud mouthed apostle for his own. God made the Moses knowing he wouldn’t be a great speaker. He made Jacob knowing he would be a traitor. He made Noah knowing he would be a drunk. He made every disadvantaged broken person with the same tender love and mercy that he made every person of privilege.
Here’s the kicker though, it is a great thing that God and Jesus are not fair. You see, a God who was obsessed with fairness would never have sent his Son to earth to die for sinners. If there is anything to be said about God’s sense of fairness it is that he has loved each of us far more than we deserve.
Yes, God has very different plans for all of us. Some of us were built to be Bankers and others to be Martyrs. Some of us were blessed with health, wealth, and prosperity so that we could be generous with our gifts and support all those who are need. Some of us were born with need so that we could be blessed spiritually and reach people who the upper middle class suburbanite never could. Jesus himself was a poor traveler who often had no home or place to lay his head. Think about that, God wasn’t even fair to his own Son…
It is not fair that any of us should be given grace, mercy, love, or forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. It is not fair that God continually gave Israel chance after chance to repent and return to Him. It is certainly not fair that God would send his son to earth as a poor carpenter to suffer and die on our behalf. The Gospel message isn’t fair, and that’s a good thing!
Some of us are not destined to be married, or have a nice house, or have a steady income, or have perfect health, or live to an old age, or to have all the perks and privileges that we feel entitled to. That is ok though! God made you the way you are for a reason and regardless of your place in life, you have been blessed far more than you could ever deserve because the Son of God loved you enough to take your sins and shame upon himself on your behalf.
Let’s try to remember that next time we get upset about life not being fair.