|Series Theme: Jesus Christ, the Son of God|
|Meditation No. 3|
|Meditation Title: Your World View|
Matt 3:16,17 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
OK, a reminder first of all. These meditations are specifically about why Jesus IS the unique Son of God, but before we get into that in depth, we are simply considering some of the primary issues that face people when confronted with the Bible, and specifically with the accounts about Jesus' life and ministry. How do you feel when you read the two verses above? Jesus has just been baptised by John the Baptist in the river Jordan , and something, possibly like light in the form of a dove comes down on him and a voice from above speaks. The response of many is, “That couldn't happen!”
In the previous introductory meditations we have considered presuppositions, the starting point beliefs that we have. Francis Schaeffer once wrote, “ Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realise that their presuppositions should be chosen after careful consideration of what world view is true.” A ‘world view' is an overall picture that we have of the world and, as Schaeffer said, most of us just pick up our world view and the presuppositions that go with it, and we do it without much thought. Essentially your starting place will either be that the world just is and there is no God, or there is a God. Both starting places have a lot of ramifications.
The odd one of the two starting places is, strangely enough, believing in a world without God. This ignores a) vast majorities of the world who believe in a deity, b) experiences around the world of ‘spiritual activities', and c) it has to believe that the world is pure chance and so there is no such thing as meaning or purpose. With the evidence of world religions, and Judaism and Christianity in particular, based on the Bible, it is more illogical to believe in no God and ultimately the only common denominator in such people is pride that says, “I can't afford to believe in a superior being. I like ruling my own life.” They may not want to acknowledge that, but that is what is behind so much atheistic thinking which blinds the atheist believer (for atheism is as much a belief system as anything else) to going and investigating with an open mind the evidence that is there.
So here we have this record, just as a starting point exercise, of Jesus being baptised and the starting point for many of us is, “This couldn't be!” Why? “Because there isn't a God!” There you go again. You are starting with a belief-decision instead of saying, “ Well, what is the evidence? How real is it? What are the possibilities? How does it correlate with other evidence?” A scientist doesn't write off the evidence. Science is about examining the evidence and coming up with theories to be tested. If there is a Supreme Being (God) then why can't He speak into this world, especially if we see that because He is the Supreme Being He created and brought about this world (either in a short period or over a long time), why can't He do whatever He likes if He is that powerful? Get away from the pictures of silly little ‘gods' like the Greeks and Romans had, extensions of human thinking, and think of what constitutes a “Supreme Being” for God can be nothing less.
We are discussing nothing less that the divinely supernatural here, the possibility of God not only existing but being able to communicate and interact with the world He brought into being . If there is such a Supreme Being, then logically it is not difficult for Him to be able to do this.
Now I realise that I have used a word that our sceptic might object to – He. Let's not worry about ‘he' or ‘she'; let's just note the word ‘He'. It denotes personality. If you want to be really prescriptive, then when we find that the Bible refers to God as ‘spirit' we might define ‘God as Spirit' as ‘energy with personality'. We are familiar with energy in science but whenever God makes His presence known in the Bible it is energy that has personality – energy that decides, chooses, thinks, reasons, plans, speaks and acts with purpose. I don't know if you've ever thought about it like that, but that is how it is in the most simple of terms. Science says there is no movement without an originating force of some kind and we find a world that is full of movement. God is The personal force, the Ultimate, Supreme Being, who made it and made it move, and it is no problem for Him, therefore, to continue to move in the midst of it.
In the coming meditations we are going to consider God's movement and God's activity for that is what the Bible is all about. That is what the account of Jesus is all about. For our starting point, therefore, we have got to confront this irrational idea that God cannot speak or act into His own world. Modern crusading atheists seek to do this by trying to explain everything that happens by natural means, but none of them can explain the original ‘movement' (what they refer to as the ‘Big Bang') because they start from the premise that God doesn't exist, so they have an unsolvable problem which by a massive leap of faith, they say they will solve ‘one day'. Some Christians also hold to this position that God cannot speak or act today. Oh yes, He spoke and acted in Biblical times, but for some reason He shut down after that. Illogical! We hold that position because we are afraid of what will flow from the thought that God still speaks and acts into His world.
Unless you can face up to this philosophical illogicality, that evidence is to be weighed rationally and not written off before examination, you might as well give up reading these examinations of the evidence, for that is what this set of meditations is. If your mind is so closed (like the people who believed in a flat earth) that you can't examine reasonably the evidence, you're going to have to live with that knowledge about yourself, and once you see that, it is uncomfortable! Come with us on this expedition to examine the records honestly and without prior prejudice. Tomorrow we dive in at the beginning of the ‘Jesus accounts'.