I can’t stand the taste of cow’s liver.
While a freshman at the University of Texas my anti-liver bias was tested. At the time I worked as a houseparent for 12-year old boys at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin. Another student and I lived in a facility that housed a dozen boys. Our job was to parent these kids by overseeing their studies, sleep, clothing and recreation.
One evening our cook served liver. The dear woman tried to disguise the nasty taste by covering it with sautéed onions. Determined to set a good example I placed a forkful in my mouth. While a dozen boys watched—not one of them had taken a bite—I chewed once and then reflexively spat the food onto my plate. The boys erupted in laughter as they gleefully pointed at me. Seemed they shared by bias. I looked at the dear woman who prepared the meal and told her, “I’m sorry, but I can’t make them eat what I can’t eat, and I can’t eat cow’s liver. The salad, vegetables and dessert we’ll eat. Not the liver.” She smiled knowingly. That’s the last time I tried to eat cow’s liver.
A bias will prevent us from tasting food we know we can’t stand. It will also prevent us from considering an unsavory idea . . . one that conflicts with our beliefs. In order to understand the disciples’ bias against the death/resurrection of Jesus we must realize that from childhood they had been taught the Messiah would not die. Ezekiel 37:25 says as much: “They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.”
As I noted in an earlier blog, Daniel’s night vision declared, “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). Note the vision specifically says, His dominion is “everlasting” and His kingdom “shall not be destroyed.”
No wonder the Gospels record 31 instances where Jesus made direct or indirect reference to his death/resurrection and his disciples didn’t get it. No wonder after his resurrection they didn’t initially believe—despite the testimony of numerous trustworthy friends.
So how do we overcome a bias? In a word: TRUTH. Reality erases a bias. The repeated resurrection appearances of Jesus dissolved the disciple’s anti-resurrection bias. If I could taste a delicious liver dish, my bias would vanish. IF I would give it a try.
If I would view every disappointment, pain and loss as a seed of resurrection then despair would vanish. And so would my bias against viewing losses through the lens of resurrection.