Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The divine conspiracy - jesus is brilliant

This is a long piece from the end of chapter 3 (pp. 94-95) in Dallas Willard's 'The Divine Conspiracy.' I could have copied pages from this section outlining Jesus' intelligence, but stuck with this part under the heading "Master of Molecules." Nice stuff.
At the literally mundane level, Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine. That knowledge also allowed him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy he knew how to access from "the heavens," right where he was.

It cannot be surprising that the feeding of the thousands led the crowds to try to force him to be their king. Surely one who could play on the energy/matter equation like that could do anything. Turn gravel into gold and pay off the national debt! Do you think he could get elected president or prime minister today?

He knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, and eliminate unfruitful tree without saw or ax. He only needed a word. Surely he must be amused at what Nobel prizes are awarded for today.

In the ethical domain he brought an understanding of life that has influenced world thought more than any other. We shall see what this means in chapters to follow. And one of the greatest testimonies to his intelligence is surely that he knew how to enter physical death, actually to die, and then live on beyond death. He seized death by the throat and defeated it. Forget cryonics!

Death was not something others imposed on him. He explained to his followers in the moment of crisis that he could at any time call for 72,000 angels to do whatever he wanted. A mid-sized angel or two would surely have been enough to take care of those who thought they were capturing and killing him. He plainly said, "Nobody takes my life! I give it up by choice. I am in position to lay it down, and I am in position to resume it. My father and I have worked all this out" (John 10:18).

All these things show Jesus' cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality: physical, moral, and spiritual. He is Master only because he is Maestro. "Jesus is Lord" can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate before saying, "Jesus is smart."

He is not just nice, he is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of world history (Rev. 1:5) while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it (John 14:2). He always has the best information on everything and certainly also on the things that matter most in human life...

Wow. Yeah. Amen.