Fact and Fantasy (Matthew 13:54-57)

Photo by Klim Musalimov on Unsplash

In a comic book series that Marvel Entertainment created, there exists a set  of ‘infinity  stones’ that afford the owner infinite power, infinite knowledge, and infinite power over natural forces like time, space, reality and life. That is an entertaining idea, but it is also childish fiction. There are no such stones. Only God exists of and by Himself, and only God possesses all ability. The very idea of the infinity stones is a childish attempt at understanding how God came to be God, and the only thing Marvel’s comic gets right is the idea that we cannot gain anything of real value without it being imparted to us from outside of ourselves. 

“Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him.”

Jesus did not go to university or even college. There were no such institutions in His day to go to. So where did Jesus get the wisdom He clearly had when He taught? And where did Jesus get the miraculous powers He obviously exercised? There has never been a store you can go to buy such things, and there never will be. The question Jesus’ hometown villagers ask is very legitimate and worth thinking about. How did Jesus come to have all He had?

From all outside appearance, Jesus was an ordinary man. He was born as all men are. He grew up as all men do. He had a family and He had a dad, as all men have. Jesus did not bleed green or blue as some suppose kings do, and He did not possess super-strength or X-ray vision as comic book heroes do. Jesus was born, and He was born in human flesh. 

Of course, Jesus is more than any mere man, because He is God incarnate. But if we consider His humanity, we realize that like all who are born in human flesh, Jesus could understand the Word of God. He could learn to read and memorize it. He could know what it meant to apply it. Moreover, Jesus was also baptized of the Holy Spirit, and like all who are baptized of the Spirit, Jesus had the ability to listen to the voice of God our Father because the Spirit of God in Him would allow Him to know the difference between the Father’s voice and the other voices we all hear (like our own voice, the voice of others, the voice of our fleshly longings and the demonic promptings Satan and his minions so often whisper). Consequently, as a man Jesus could know when and what God was speaking to Him. He could therefore act in accordance with the Word and Spirit and so cooperate with all God was doing and was about to do, as any man can do. 

These things tell us that in His humanity, Jesus healed many. He delivered many. He taught many. He altered the lives of a great number of people for the better. 

We who have a living relationship with our Father through Christ can and must do likewise, and we should also expect a similar result. God works through those who are wholeheartedly His.

Mind you, the world will perceive that which does not belong to it, and will react accordingly. They scoff and deride God’s work because our enemy tells them that it nothing more than childish fantasy. 

The cross is the expression of the world’s hatred.

A.W. Pink

APPLICATION: Intentionality

The Christ follower must expect derision. How will you handle the inevitable doubt and criticism assigned to you by those who reject your message?