Limited perspectives on God — is all we see all there is?

Matthew 14
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What if everything we knew was only as big as we could observe?

I read something recently about how absurd it is to construct a religion based on our perception of reality and the world when what we are capable of observing is a micro-splinter of what exists.

The universe, for example, is believed to be 93 billion light years in diameter.  Only beginning to consider this scope is dizzying. It makes our microscopic — but somehow very much living — pile of bones and flesh feel comparatively insignificant.

Our color spectrum is another example. We can only see a fraction of what actually exists in the wave spectrum. Only recently have we begun to discover and really understand other wavelengths.

If you’re a Christian and you’re thinking, “Science, blah blah blah” already, that pretty much sucks. It is our constant ignorance of reality that handicaps us from being relatable and perhaps somewhat convincing.

Likewise, the skeptic rides these facts as compelling evidence of God’s absence when they have actually inverted the whole thing — our limited ability to observe everything is actually compelling evidence for God’s existence, because the depth and breadth of the universe we live in is way beyond ourselves.

Matthew 14, on a less philosophical tip, addresses the limited capacity of human perception (and their decided ignorance) with two examples:

1) John’s beheading. Herod is having sex with his sister-in-law, and John the Baptist calls him out for it. Herod doesn’t like it and puts him in prison, eventually having John beheaded on a whim after Herodias’ daughter does some sexy dance moves to convince uncle (or daddy?) Herod.

Herod has a limited perspective of morality.  The law (and common sense) are pretty clear about sleeping with your sister-in-law. Every day people are prone to this error as well, limiting their perception using relative morality or cultural norms to conduct their behavior.

2) Feeding a ton of people.  In the middle of mourning over his dead friend, Jesus encounters a multitude of needy folks and begins healing them. After a while, they start getting hungry, so Jesus has them all sit down while the disciples began calculating their resources. Jesus overlooks the lack and feeds over 5000 people to satisfaction.

The disciples have a limited perspective of God’s resources. Humans look at what they have in front of them — and that’s okay.  God has given us exactly what we need on this earth while we are alive here.   But when we decide to put restrictions on God (not that it’s really possible), we forego recognizing His glorious omnipotence, His endless capabilities, and His outstretched love.

Once we decide God is greater than ourselves, only then can we begin to position ourselves correctly — He as Lord, and us as His beloved.

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