Divine ambiguity

One objection that has often been pointed out with regard to the Christian faith is that Jesus himself “never claimed to be God.” Which is of course true – at least, not in so many (or few) words. And if he had done – would that of itself make the claim more believable?

Reading through the Gospels, I am struck by Jesus’ reticence. (If only some of his modern-day followers would show a similar modesty…) He never advertised himself as a healer; so he must have been amazingly successful for word to get around as it did. Many of his more ‘spectacular’ miracles (like changing water into wine) were performed almost in secret. Those who were closest to him became convinced that he was Somebody out of the ordinary; but he never forced that claim onto anybody. His favourite title for himself was “the Son of Man”, which could be interpreted in two ways: either as a statement that he was a member of the human race, or (more controversially) that he was the mysterious divine figure seen in a vision by the prophet Daniel, who would be worshipped all over the world. People either loved him or hated him – and his genuine followers were always in the minority.

Actually, this is typical of how God works. The evidence of his existence is ambiguous, and can be interpreted in more than one way. Some of us see the glory of God written all over the universe; others look at the same world and draw the conclusion that God had nothing to do with it at all. So all those atheists who demand “proof” are on a pretty safe bet. There is none. The sort of proof that they want will never be forthcoming. The most God will give us is hints and clues. What proof there is, is “in the eating”; commit yourself to Jesus, and you will find out in your own experience that Christianity is true.

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