Control Bias - by Greg Steggerda

I want to dislike the Jewish religious leaders, but honestly I see too much of me in them.
This morning I read Luke 20, and was immediately struck by this interchange between the teachers of the law and chief priests and Jesus, recorded in verses 2-8: 
“‘Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,’ they said. ‘Who gave you this authority?’
“He replied, ‘I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism —was it from heaven, or of human origin?’
“They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will ask, “Why didn’t you believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin,” all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.’
“So they answered, ‘We don’t know where it was from.’
“Jesus said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’”

There’s a thing called control bias (favoring choices that keep us in control) and this is a classic case. The religious leaders carefully calculate all the potential outcomes of their own response; instead of just telling the truth they game it out and as a result compromise both themselves and their chances of seeing the Savior standing right in front of them.
These two questions, the one they asked Jesus and the one Jesus asked them, are related. A discerning answer regarding John’s baptism would shed light on Jesus’ authority. Jesus was really asking, “Do you believe the prophecies? Do you trust in God’s promises? If you do, then you’re ready to hear who I really am. If not, you won’t get it no matter what I say.”
In the end, their self-centeredness and focus on power and control blinded these men to the amazing, glorious reality that they were privileged to witness.
Often lately I’ve been frustrated at I don’t know what, a microbe? Life? I’m angry because plans have been derailed. I’m annoyed because there are new expectations. It’s easy to be short-tempered with people I think are too extreme, or too indifferent.
But I also see things that could be really healthy for our churches and communities. I see local and state governments stepping up instead of relying on the feds. I see churches and schools partnering with each other and with businesses to figure out solutions. I see families pulling closer and parents banding together to meet the new needs of their kids. I see kindness.
Do we sometimes miss God at work because we’re too focused on controlling our lives? Can our control bias cause us to be left behind as Jesus moves ahead? 
Not if we realize we’re never really in control anyway. Not if we trust the one who controls all things.