God and Greatness: Jesus, Miracles, and Social Constructionism

I very nearly wrote this as a comment on my previous post, but decided it was important enough to merit a post of its own.

It’s important to note that all of my thoughts on God and Greatness, as expressed throughout this blog, began sometime in high school (yes, BEFORE the Matrix), while considering the words of Jesus.

It began at the passage about the mountain and the mustard seed.

Jesus said, “If you tell this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea,’ and you have even the faith of a mustard seed, it will do it.” That made a lot of sense to me. Didn’t God, in Genesis, give Man dominion over all the earth? Didn’t Jesus call us all Sons of God? Jesus did miracles. Moses did miracles, too. And Elijah, and David, even, if you want to look at it like that….

After all, isn’t that the point of prayer? That you can, by asking, get a miracle happened? That’s like performing one, no?

Well, that’s how we’re taught the passage. If you ask God for something, and have faith in Him (and if you’re a faithful enough person that what you want meshes with God’s will), it will happen. God will answer your prayer, and move the mountain.

That is…that is not at ALL what Jesus says. It’s not even CLOSE to what he tells his followers.

And reading through his actions, the miraculous things he does, you see two sorts: there are those things he asks God for–and God grants them instantly–and then there are those things that he commands. He commands the injured to be healed, and they are. He commands the fish to have his tax payment in its mouth, and Peter goes and finds it true. He commands the fig tree to whither, because it displeased him. And he tells his followers, “If you command a mountain to move, it will.” And the story of the Bible gives us NO REASON to try to explain that away, as anything other than literal, direct truth.

That’s my basis. There are things that Jesus does as the Son of God. Then again, there are things he does as the Son of Man, and it’s not for no reason that he is called both. Yeah, I did it on purpose to make you read the sentence twice. Paul calls us co-heirs with Christ. Jesus, in the passage with the tax-paying fish, called Peter (and–as I’m not Catholic, I’ll say this–and by extension, all his other followers) equally sons of the king.

This feeds into the Don’t Worry speech in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “When the one greater than the Temple comes, what does the Temple matter? Eh?” Reality was made for us, not the other way around. Mountains don’t MATTER. Water doesn’t MATTER. Jesus walked across the surface of the sea, defying reality, but when it comes right down to it, the sea is just a THING. Jesus is the son of God.

And we are too. That was most of his point.

Reality is just a dream we’ve constructed. We, on the other hand, are True Things. We are from a place greater than this, we can reorder EVERYTHING around us because we gave it the order in the first place.

It fits with everything else you’ll read in the Bible. It fits with everything Jesus said. This is not just a sojourn, it’s a fantasy. We have a responsibility to learn from it, to grow in this temporary soil, but it’s not Real. It doesn’t MATTER.

When you look at it like that, miracles are easy. Magic is easy. But, then again, isn’t magic evil? No. I’ll say that immediately and without reservation, no. I’ll go on to say, you shouldn’t do it, but that’s another issue entirely.

Tools are not evil. Power is not evil. What Man does with it…that can be good, or it can be evil, but a capacity for change is not, in itself, morally aligned. Reordering reality can be used to improve people, or to destroy them. That’s true whether you’re using Social Constructionism or bulldozers. Same thing.

That said…I already answered this in yesterday’s post, and Nicki brought it up specifically in her comment. When we attempt to Construct a reality to suit our needs, we tend to build something other than the Paradise God provided. It’s possible to be making something closer to it than the world at large (happy families do it all the time), and that’s a good thing, ain’it, but the most powerful wizard couldn’t match the happiness, or goodness, of a truly submitted Christian.

Hmm. Thoughts. Let me know your reactions.