June 4 – Thoughts About God For My Grandkids

June 4

 

Bible Reading: John 14:1-31

 

Topic Summary:

 

Jesus said that He was God, the Father.  That is a difficult concept to get your arms around.  In fact, you may not be able to fully understand it to your satisfaction.  But, that doesn’t mean that can’t believe it.  Read on…

 

Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:

 

Do you remember the name, Albert Einstein?  No, I’m not talking about the owner of Einstein Bagels!  I’m talking about Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955), the theoretical physicist (a scientist who uses math to explain the natural world around us and how it all works together).  He developed what is called the theory of relativity.  He was one of the most brilliant men in the world.  Einstein was born in Germany, but in 1932 he moved to Princeton, New Jersey.  Not long after arriving, an interesting and funny incident took place.

Einstein was invited by the wife of one of the professors of mathematics at Princeton University to be the guest of honor at a tea that she was hosting.  He didn’t really enjoy that type of occasion, but he agreed to go.

The tea had progressed for a while, then the hostess, excited to have such a famous guest of honor, got everyone’s attention and said, “I wonder, Dr. Einstein, if you would be so kind as to explain to my guests in a few words, just what is relativity theory?”

Without hesitating Einstein rose to his feet and told a story.  He said that he was reminded of a walk he had taken day one with his blind friend.  The day was hot and he had turned to his blind friend and said, “I wish I had a glass of milk.”

“Glass,” replied the blind friend, “I know what that is.  But what do you mean by milk?”

“Why, milk is a white fluid,” explained Einstein.

“Now fluid, I know what that is,” said the blind man, “but what is white?”

“Oh, white is the color of a swan’s feathers.”

“Feathers, now I know what they are, but what is a swan?”

“A swan is a bird with a crooked neck.”

“Neck, I know what that is, but what do you mean by crooked?”

At this point Einstein said he lost his patience.  He seized his blind friend’s arm and pulled it straight.  “There, now your arm is straight,” he said.  Then he bent the blind friend’s arm at the elbow.  “Now it is crooked.”

“Ah,” said the blind friend.  “Now I know what milk is.”

And with that, Einstein sat down.

That story didn’t make a lot of sense did it?  Nope.  Why?  Einstein was making a point.  You can’t explain the theory of relativity in just a few words.  It is extremely complex and there are many related facts that you have to already have a working knowledge about.  We learned one thing, though.  Einstein must have had a sense of humor…because what he did was just plain funny.

 

In this passage, Jesus is telling His disciples that very soon He is going to be leaving them.  But, He tells them to not be concerned about this because He is leaving them so that He can go prepare a place for them and one day He will return to get them and take them there.  Then He told them that they already knew how to get there…on their own.  Wow, that was a mouthful!  Actually, it kind of confused the disciples, as well.  I can just see Thomas…he has this look of total confusion on his face and he’s looking off into the distance.  Then he says, “Lord, we don’t even know the destination…much less the way there.”  Jesus told Him, “I am the way…and the destination is the Father.”  Now it’s Philip’s turn.  He said, “Lord, I’m not real sure what You’re talking about, but if You will just show us the Father, that will be more than enough for us!”  Now listen closely to this.  Jesus said, “When you see Me, you see the Father.”  What?  That’s right.  You heard it.  Jesus told the disciples that when they saw Him…they were looking at God, Himself.

Can I explain how that is possible?  Well, I remember one time when I went on a walk with a blind friend…  Do you get my point?  It’s not easy to explain.  In fact, the Bible doesn’t really go to a great length to explain it…it just says that it is so.  Now, that really bothers some people.  You know…the kind of people that demand that they have be able to totally, completely, 100% be able to understand something before they will believe it.  Sorry, not gonna’ happen.  There are some things that are simply beyond the ability of the human mind to understand (we’re just not that smart).  This is one of them.  Jesus knew that it would really, really bother some people.  So, He said, “Tough luck.”  No He didn’t!  He said that He knew that we would not be able to explain it…but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t believe it.  How are we supposed to believe in something that we cannot explain?  Well, we believe it not because of the explanation of it, but because of the evidence for it.  Jesus said that the evidence that He and the Father are one (that means that He is God)…are the words that He spoke and the works that He performed.  Every word that Jesus spoke…was in perfect harmony with the words that the Father spoke.  When you heard Jesus speak…you were hearing the Father speak.  And, every work that Jesus performed was in perfect alignment with the works that the Father performs.  When you saw Jesus perform a miraculous work…you were seeing the Father perform a miraculous work.  That is why Jesus said that when you saw Him…you saw the Father.  You may not be able to explain it…but you can see the evidence for it.  His words and His works.

Remember Einstein and the theory of relativity?  Well, here is how one person defines it:

All motion must be defined relative to a frame of reference and that space and time are relative, rather than absolute concepts.

Did you get that?  Yeah, me neither.  I’ve read it, and reread it, and re-reread it…but I still have difficulty explaining it.  But let me give you an example that provides evidence of it.  Here goes…

Imagine two people on a train playing ping-pong. The train is traveling at around 30 mph north. When the ball is hit back and forth between the two players, the ball appears to the players to move north at a speed of around 2 mph and then south at the speed of 2 mph.

Now imagine someone standing beside the railroad tracks watching the ping-pong game as the train goes by. When the ball is traveling north it will appear to travel at 32 mph (30 mph plus 2 mph). When the ball is hit in the other direction, it still appears to travel north, but at a speed of 28 mph (30 mph minus the 2 mph). To the observer by the side of the train, the ball always appears to be traveling north.

The result is that the speed of the ball depends on the “relative” position of the observer. It will be different for the people on the train than for the person on the side of the railroad tracks.

Oooooh, now I get it!  I still cannot fully explain it…but I can see the evidence for it…and I believe it.  That is what Jesus was saying…”I am the Father.  You may not be able to explain it…but you can believe it, none-the-less, because of the evidence that I have provided to prove it.”

Cool, huh.  You better believe it.  In fact, you can believe it…even if you can’t explain it…because the evidence is there.  Jesus is God.

 

Love you more than bunches and bunches,

Granddad

 

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