Monday, January 27, 2014

Looking like Insanity

Einstein. Pretty cool guy, right? He said some stuff about math, had crazy hair, and is apparently credited with the coolest quotes ever.

"The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result."

Great Einstein quote, right? I thought so too. I was sitting in a Wednesday night church class covering Ephesians and the teacher happened to throw that out there. "We all know it was Albert Einstein who said..." It was like the bajillionth time that I had heard it. Now, for some reason, the feral beast of curiosity decided to visit my mind's doorstep that moment and I set my fingers to Google to look up the quote.

Ever heard of a lady named Rita Mae Brown? Neither had I. Apparently, she was referenced as the most reliable source for this quote. She had written it in one of her novels. But it doesn't stop there. Apparently, Narcotics Anonymous said it even before she did! So who came up with this overused quote?

Well, I'm not really sure. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't Einstein. An article I read said that they couldn't find a single place where Einstein had ever written or said this. They also went on to say, "It’s not surprising that it has been attributed to Einstein, since everything but the Book of Genesis has been attributed to him at some point." Go figure. Show everyone that you've figured half of the world out, and you also get credited with the other half. (I need to invent a formula or something...)

"What's your point? Even if Einstein didn't say it, it's still a solid quote."

Yeah, you're probably right. I get distracted by misinformation sometimes. The quote is solid, and is a good general rule for life. If you want to get different results, you've gotta try different stuff.

In Matthew 21, Jesus tells a parable of the master of a house that owns a vineyard which is tended by some tenants that stay on his land. Since he lives far away from the vineyard, the master sends servants to get the fruit of his harvest when the right time comes. His tenants respond by killing, beating, and stoning the servants that the master sends.

That's pretty screwed up, eh?

If I was the master, I'd send the po-po to go "take care" of the offending party. However, instead of doing that, the master just sends more servants. The same thing happens again. At this point, you'd think he'd do something different, right? Definition of insanity, right? Well, instead, the master sends his son, saying, "They will respect my son."

Spoiler alert: they kill the son, hoping to somehow snag his inheritance from the father (yes, because I would also love to give the inheritance that was due to my son to his murderers!). I've read this before and thought, "What's the deal? Isn't this insanity? Doesn't the master know what they're going to do?"

Of course He does. And He sends Him anyway. He wanted to give the tenants the opportunity to respond rightly. He knew their sins and what they're response would be, but he extends a hand of grace, giving them an ample number of chances to turn from their ways and accept His grace.

Sometimes, grace looks like insanity.


This was cool, I had a revelation when I read the parable. That is what God did with Jesus. He sent him to Earth knowing many would not receive him and kill him. However God still sent Jesus. Oh his grace is something I will never understand but am so thankful for.

Yeah, and the cool thing is that Jesus tells many similar parables along this same vein of story all throughout Matthew!

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