The unwillingness to listen to bad news has been blamed for everything from space shuttle disasters to corporate collapses to the spread of terrorism. Lengthy studies aren’t needed to determine why this happens. Bad news reveals problems; problems require solutions; solutions cost time, money, and energy we would rather spend celebrating past successes.
This isn’t new to our century. In the 5th century BC, King Ahasuerus of Persia refused to allow mourners to enter his gates (Esther 4:1-2). One commentator suggests that he preferred to surround himself with people who were awed by his wealth and were eager to attend his lavish parties (1:4). His reluctance to be bothered by bad news nearly resulted in the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Contrast the leadership of Ahasuerus with that of Jesus, who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Ahasuerus ruled his kingdom by allowing only happy people to enter his presence. Jesus builds His kingdom by welcoming the burdened and sorrowful into His presence. What’s more, Jesus not only invites us to tell Him our bad news, He has the willingness and the power to turn our most troubling circumstances into a celebration of praise.
I walked life's path with worry,
Disturbed and quite unblest,
Until I trusted Jesus;
Now faith has giv'n me rest. —Bosch
The gospel is bad news to those who reject it and good news to those who receive it.