4cMonday

Lifting the Rock

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Skeptic’s delight in posing challenging questions to discredit God’s existence or power. “Can God make a rock so big He can’t lift it?” is one example. Obviously this task impossible for humans, but God can do anything (Matthew 19:26). Our finite minds may not be able to understand the answer, but Scripture gives us examples of how God can do the impossible.

Jesus told us it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. Sending a camel through a tiny is hole is not humanly possible, but if you’ve seen the movie Honey I’ve Shrunk the Kids, this task seems less daunting. Whereas Jesus’ statement shocked His listeners, God sending camels through needle eye holes is easy. However, neither Scripture nor history records such an event; apparently God views this task as a very low priority.

Our finite minds can grasp the possibility of shrinking an object, even if we are incapable. We know atoms consist mostly of empty space. If physicists could compress or reduce the empty space in atoms, a camel could be made microscopic, allowing it to pass through the needle’s eye easily. Science has not achieved this feat, but the concept is relatable.

Next let’s consider big things, such as infinities. An infinity means there is no end of something, whether it be power, size, number, distance, volume, or other attribute. For the record, God is infinite. There is nothing larger, more powerful, or more loving than God. This same infinite God created curious entities that boggle the imagination – large and small infinities. Try wrapping your head around this concept!

Here’s an example. We know there are an infinite number of decimals (fractions) between zero and one. If we make a really small number, we can always (infinitely) continue to divide it by two, ten, a million, or some other number, making it even smaller. There is no end to this process; a number can always be made smaller. Yet the infinity between zero and one is a small infinity. Let’s see how to create a large infinity.

The fractioning process described can be performed between any two integers. Instead of doing it between zero and one, we could do it between one and two, ten and eleven, 78 and 79, or any other sequential integers. Now, there are also an infinite number of integers, because no matter how high we count, we can always add one to make the number larger. Because the integer infinity also contains the fractional infinities, the integer infinity is a larger infinity. Note that these same processes could be applied to the negative numbers, creating an even larger infinity. Just thinking about these infinite infinities can make your head hurt!

Now let’s look at something in Scripture that’s as or more mind-bending than infinite infinities. In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us we are sheep and that sheep will recognize the shepherd’s voice when they hear it (John 10:1-6). He also tells us, “I am the gate (door) for the sheep. Whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:7, 9). Finally, He tells us, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (John 10:11).

As sheep, we hear His voice and follow Him through the gate/door into Heaven, because He is the only Way (John 14:6). Christians have embraced and cherished this process since Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, yet few have identified the miracle happening in these statements – Jesus is both the Good Shepherd and the door/gate though which the Good Shepherd walks!

How can someone be both the door and the person who walks through the door? How can someone be two objects at the same time or in two places at the same time? This exceeds human capacity; however, remember that God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere at once. Why couldn’t He be everything at once as well? After, Jesus created all things (John 1:3). In His sovereign divinity and His omnipotence, He could do it, because He can do anything (Matthew 19:26).

Finally, there’s Jesus incarnation, where an infinite God became a finite man. Jesus became fully man yet remained fully God as He walked the Earth. This presents an even greater mystery, with which scholars have wrestled for centuries. Only God can explain how it all worked; whether our finite minds could understand His explanation is debatable.

It is normal for God to be capable of accomplishing any goal, even making a rock so big He can’t lift it. I suspect many of these would not be in His will or serve any purpose than to satisfy a skeptic. God has documented untold miracles in the Bible and declared matter of factly He created the Heavens and Earth in six days. He doesn’t need to prove Himself further. Moreover, Jesus counseled Lazarus that doing miracles for skeptics is futile (Luke 16:27-31). Let’s not mire ourselves in infantile discussions about God making or lifting big rocks.

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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