Posted on June 4, 2011 by Sudeep Bhaskar
“You are one step closer to us now”, a muslim friend commented, learning that I have started following Jesus Christ. That statement caught my attention, it intrigued me. Then he went on to say that he also believes that Jesus Christ was a messenger of God, Who was not crucified and will come again to earth. He then asked me ‘Do you believe that Jesus Christ is a God?’ I said, ‘Yes, I believe, not ‘a’ God, but ‘God’. ‘We don’t believe he is God, but a messenger and Muhammad was the next and last messenger’, another muslim friend added on.
To explain the concept of trinity to a prejudiced mind , I needed to put words to my belief and the right words were not just coming to my mind. Strange, I thought – why am I not able to put words to a concept I understand and strongly believe in? I said – ‘we will discuss this important topic in a setting that is better suited for such discussions – not in a social gathering with short attention spans and kids running all round and between us’. The three of us agreed and everyone turned to food that was being served.
Returning home, I was asking God to reveal more about the divinity of Jesus Christ – in such a way that even a non believer will be able to grasp it. John chapter 1 came to mind -
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus also said that the following :
1. “Father is greater than I”
2. “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sentgreater than the one who sent him.”
3. “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.”
4. “I and the Father are one.”
I was pulled away for days from my thoughts by various errands and work. Then, after couple of days, I was taken on what I thought, was a tangent- to the part of Isaiah chapter 40, that was read by athlete and missionary Eric Liddel (1924 Olympics) at church on Sunday – the day of Olympic qualifying heats – which he boycotted(immortalized by the must–see movie ‘Chariots of fire’).
<Quoting : Isaiah Ch 40 selected verses>
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The point hit home. bulls eye. I was stopped in my tracks – was I trying to define God? is it possible to define Him? will HE fit in ? are the languages and sciences of the world capable of handling it? certainly not by my vocabulary.
Days and weeks passed – meanwhile in between the noise of this world, in the short moments of silence, I used to feel an urge to put pen to paper rather put fingers to keyboard. finally I sat to complete this today almost 4 weeks after the question was posed to me.
Thoughts started flowing from this perspective shown through prophet Isaiah – I had stepped back from the plane of this world – God is the Alpha and Omega – beginning and the end – He knows the past and the future as if it were present – He is omnipresent – Simply He is not of this world as we know it in 3 or 4 dimensions!
Is there a be everywhere, see everywhere dimension some where above the numerous undulations of the space-time fabric? probably, we will have to wait for a new breed of Schrodinger’s, Heisenberg’s and Einstein’s to finds that out – if at all in this lifetime. Though I haven’t read on string theory much, I know that this theory suggest that there are about 11 or 12 dimensions! as if understanding the 4th dimension wasn’t hard enough!
This reminded me of a story I heard (as an answer to one of my questions) when I first started to follow Jesus. it goes somewhat like this – an ant was walking on the wall of a deep well (not that depth matters)- he was smelling something sweet and enticing, and following the smell to its source. unknown to him, he was walking very close to the slippery edge of the well and if he falls, he will end up as supper for the predators hidden in the well.
If I were God, how will I inform the ant about the danger and direct him away from the well to safety – without a supernatural intervention and how can I make sure that the word spreads and other ants don’t fall for the same enticing smell? I can talk to the ant, but the ant may get frightened at my size and sound – i can even disorient the ant by my body smell. But nothing works like me coming to the well in the form of an ant and speaking his language in the sound spectrum/ hormone language that he understands and convey the message. once this one ant understands and follows my instructions, he can pass on the message to his family and others. That’s the way that God chose for us too – he came down as a human at our level to talk to us and direct us in the right path. That justifies the statements of Jesus – that the father is greater than I and that he and the father are one.
How do I explain this to a normal person? relating this with the thought on dimensions, a question came to my mind – what will happen when different dimensions intersect? if you position yourself on a 2 D plane, for example a plane sheet of paper and imagine a spherical ball passing through the paper. All you will see is a circle that increases in diameter and as the ball passes through the plane, the circle decreases in diameter and vanishes – you will not be able to explain this phenomena in a 2 D world – its supernatural – a dot appears from no where in your world – it grows to become a big circle and diminishes and disappears as a dot. Applying the same logic, Assuming God is in an ‘n’ dimensional world, where n is greater than at least 4 (what we can perceive), any interaction of God with our 3 D visual world will be nothing less than spectacularly supernatural. coming back to our example, if you ask the circle, from your 2 D perspective, circle will tell that his father (the sphere) is greater than he, and that he (circle) and the father( the sphere) are one in reality!!
So we are back to trinity – thinking from the same perspective -
if a 2 D object interacts with (Slices through) a 1 D object, you will get at least a line , a point or two points – all, in forms that can be perceived from a 1 D world.
if a 3 D object (Cube) interacts with (Slices through) a 2D plane, you will get a square, a rectangle, a trapezium etc. all, in forms that can be perceived by the 2 D plane world. if the 3 D object is a sphere, then you will get many circles of different diameters between o and the diameter of the sphere. The circles and dots are the sphere itself – as you see the sphere from a 2 D world. they are not different, but one. you cannot separate them. only that you are not able to see the other dimensions that are part of the circle!
Similarly, from our 3D visual world, we are able to see/feel only 2 aspects of God – His Word and His Spirit but we know that the Father is greater (being a multi-dimensional God). than the form of Jesus and His Holy spirit. Using the same logic, I don’t want to limit myself to trinity – rather considering the many unknown dimensions God can be in, I would term it as “Infinity” in the sense that its uncountable. Different persons in different planes view Him differently – limited only by the dimension you are in and your ability to perceive our Infinitely Big God!
That’s it for now. Thank God!