Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.
– Isaiah 7:13-15
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
– Luke 1:30-38
“The skeptic and philosopher David Hume spoke famously against miracles but defined them as ‘a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.’
“We may essentially concur with Hume on this definition, which is probably as close to a standard definition as we will be able to settle on. But I would further simply say that it is when something outside time and space enters time and space, whether just to wink at us or poke at us briefly, or to come in and dwell among us for three decades.”
– Eric Metaxas, Miracles
In the previous post, I included the Hume definition of a miracle. I wanted to discuss the Metaxas addition to that definition as a key factor in a lot of our skepticism regarding miracles.
We are creatures within time and space. Some people call it the ‘time-space continuum.’ This means that we are trapped within a continuous timeline. As soon as we say the word “now,” the hearing of that utterance puts its saying in the past. Nothing in our experience allows us to experience time travel. We can look at time-lapsed photography and understand that the image is sped to see what happens over a great deal of time, watching it in a much shorter timeframe. We can understand the concepts of slow-motion video, super-slow-motion, and stop frame. Each of these deal with pictures. They don’t deal with the here and now.
In Sci-Fi movies, books, etc., there are rules for time travel. It messes things up when you meet yourself or modify the past that will wreck your present, for example. Yet, God says that He counts every hair of our bodies. That makes me think that He is interested in me at the molecular level. I understand that He can do this, since He is outside time. I can also understand that you and I can be talking, and He is taking care of both of us at a molecular level at the same time. He can, being outside time, spend an infinite time just taking care of each of us.
I have heard a few people that try to create electronic gadgets or other things to explain how Jesus can appear to everyone at the same time when He returns. I propose two ideas that have nothing to do with modern gadgets. One: The end times come after a lot of plagues have devastated the earth. It could be that the only people left are those on either side of the battle lines for the final battle at Armageddon. That is kind of morbid, but it cleans things up easily. Two: Jesus can appear to each of us since He is outside time by taking His infinite time in paradise to slip between the two worlds for each of us individually. In a room of ten people, would you see ten of Jesus talking to each person, or would you see only the one talking to you? Does it matter? Oops, I just violated a Sci-Fi rule there, but man made those rules. God is not limited to man-made rules.
But in looking at the Metaxas quote, Eric Metaxas poses a simple concept to that of a miracle, any miracle. Yet, He talks of Jesus entering time and space to stay on earth, trapped by time and space for three decades. When He returns to heaven, Jesus has lost no time there. He returns to the same point from which He had left. Heaven is outside Earth’s time and space. Now if you have grasped those thoughts, He came to Earth, born of a virgin.
“No! Stop right there. Jesus can heal the blind. He can raise Lazarus from the dead, but the virgin thing is going too far.”
Is that it? Is that where the line is drawn? For some people it is. Yet, I feel that someone who is outside time just entering time is a miracle in itself. We are trapped by Newton’s Laws and various other laws. An object in motion remains in motion. What if something caused the earth to stop spinning? You better be holding on to something really sturdy, because your momentum, just from the earth spinning could cause you to keep going in the direction of the spin. But Jesus is not trapped by that law either. He comes from outside our spinning globe in space, and He immediately syncs with our spin without even losing His balance.
Metaxas talks about miracles being those things that science cannot explain. Those intent on seeing a universe without God will postulate something other than God speaking the universe into existence, but they do so without science. They do so in faith. Is it faith in nothingness? How so? The old ‘every action versus every equal and opposite reaction’ applies, if nature applies. Thus, if the rules of nature cannot be broken and nothing creates nothing, then we do not exist. Forget God not existing.
Okay, I have crawled into a dark rabbit hole here, but my thought started with something quite easy.
All of the miracles of the Bible are possible once we wrap our heads around the idea that God comes from outside time and space to wink at us, poke us, or even live next door. No one seems to even discuss that one, but once we are comfortable with that, anything that God does, once He is here, is easy to handle.
But people often call we weird.
Thank you, Lord, for my weirdness. Maybe this has helped. Maybe this has confused. But I pray that this post has made people think. Our God is not just an awesome God. He is awesome beyond our ability to express awesomeness.
Praise the Lord.