In Sunday’s sermon, I posited that Jesus was not stupid. In yesterday’s post, I suggested that the Chief Priests and the Elders might have been. Today, I’m wondering, as I do every time the Parable of the Wicked Tenants comes around: Is God Stupid? Clearly the landowner was. Why in the heck did he think that sending his son, after the tenants had beaten and killed any number of slaves, was in anyway a good idea? If he was going to diffuse the situation, shouldn’t he have gone himself and either a) fixed things with his magical landowner powers or b) killed the lot of them in a messy and violent way?
This is, of course, the argument that many people make about God. Why did he send his Son to do the dirty work? Didn’t he know what was going to happen? Surely, if he’s omnipotent, omniscient, and all powerful, God could have fixed the mess that is humanity by either a) waving a magic grace wand to make us all suck less or b) kill us all in a messy and violent way (cf. Noah and the flood). So what gives? Is God stupid?
Well, yes and no. Love makes us do stupid things sometimes, and God seems to be no exception. Out of an abundance of love, God created the world and everything in it. Out of an abundance of love, God created humanity in his likeness to be in relationship with him. Out of an abundance of love, God attempted again and again to restore the relationship once we broke it. And out of an abundance of love, God sent his only Son to save us from our selves. This are all crazy, stupid actions on God’s part. He didn’t do them ignorantly. He knew what was coming. He knew there were other ways to fix it, but he also knew that the best way, the way that allowed all of this to be about the abundance of love and not some forced relationship or blood nightmare, was to send his Son to live and die as one of us; to feel the fullness of our humanity; to enter into real relationships with real people; and to be raised on the third day to make the whole thing new.
Is God stupid? Yep, stupid enough to love.