Jesus walked on water. He cured folks of diseases with an immediacy that shattered time and several of the four laws of gravity, mass, energy, and momentum. For good measure, Jesus moved a boat full of men from a hundred yards or so in the middle of the sea to the shore. In a nono-second.
He obliterated our constructs of science beyond every law imaginable.
Image by PublicDomainPictures
By Steve Hall
Two thousand years ago, Jesus knew that our human-sculpted towers of science would become a new religion. I think that’s why he performed miracles. “Hey guys, watch this!”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.
Aparently, the creator—who set the universe into an order that science would spend eons trying to work out—likes to poke the science bear. Scientists place limitations on possibilities. Until science can explain it, the boat story can’t be true. But there’s way more than just the boat.
Jesus walked on water. He cured folks of diseases with an immediacy that shattered time and several of the four laws of gravity, mass, energy, and momentum. For good measure, Jesus moved a boat full of men from a hundred yards or so in the middle of the sea to the shore. In a nono-second. He obliterated our constructs of science beyond every law imaginable.
And nobody got dizzy or fell out on the way.
Most children, after 16 or 18 years of age, go through a massive emotional and intellectual revolution. We find out that our parents are dumbbells. Math turns into formulas with letters involved. Getting drunk is stupid. And our best friends like us the way we are, not the way we think we should be.
That doesn’t seem associated with Jesus poking the bear of science, but adult faith similarly comes at us. God does not interrupt our free will like we expect he should. He allows us to be raised by mostly good-intentioned parents and institutions that mean well but are largely guided by fear, worry, and weariness. We find out that stuff we think is accurate is only partially true. While wondering why God let us get so confused, he shows us something up his sleeve.
Scientific developments proceed just like our maturation. We and science develop over time because science is our effort to figure out what God built. We gradually figure stuff out. Our faith, too, develops over time. Even as our science has amazingly detailed all of creation’s parts, it does not have a category for God moving a boat from sea to land as part of Jesus’ incarnated life within his creation. “That never happened,” is all the pure science types can say. Meanwhile, Jesus finishes his Eucharistic design of feeding his followers and believers with his body and blood. “I know it rattles your sense,” he told his disciples. “You still with me?”
Sciencey folks shake their heads. We lost them at “Jesus.”
For our grounding, meaning taking our trust in God beyond our science, Jesus has left us with (we who believe the scriptures) treasures of his capabilities. Even believing the veracity of scripture is a maturation. The holy book details God’s desires and love for us.
Revelation awakens us at different moments throughout our varying decades of existence. God challenges everything we think about life and death. He nudged the memory of John to add in this odd detail of Jesus transporting a boat to shore after walking on water. After hiding from a crowd who wanted to make him king, he performed this miracle on the sea.
“I’m a different kind of king,” he said. I’m paraphrasing scripture. It’s not a sin, but I’m likely in big trouble someplace. (Maybe if I make God laugh . . .)
The interplay of Jesus in history, through the lives of fishermen, accountants (Matthew), doctors (Luke), and everyone else, presents a stunning mix of unscientific activities. They’re of different talents, genders, sizes, and ages.
The longer we live, the deeper, more comical, and amazingly loving are the treasures we find reported about Jesus. The shortest experiences of our lives (as in pre-born babies dying before seeing the light of day) are allowed by God. All kinds of folks never hear about any of Jesus’ stories. Yet, to God, we are loved the same.
The scriptures are a privilege to know. Same with our Christian brothers and sisters. Knowing the Church is a privilege, too. Those of us who get all three have won the lottery. Grasping late in life that God obliterates the limitations of the four laws is a treasure to edify us, not to elevate us. It appears we may be further awakened, but we’re no more awakeable than others who do not experience such privileges.
The pre-born child hears God’s voice upon his or her entrance into heaven. They never grasped sin perpetrated by themselves. Only the one that killed them. The person who remains forever skeptical but is awakened to the presence of Christ at their dying breath lands in the arms of God, too.
So, what do we make of Jesus flipping the table on the laws of science, politics, economics, authority, and the judicial system? We get further recognition of our privilege to see God at work. The reports about him back then are windows into his activities here and now.
Leaving us with the Holy Spirit wasn’t just icing while he left with the cake. There’s oh so much more to know. The boat trick was nothing compared to what is coming next.