Having overheard Jesus saying the man’s sins were forgiven? The Pharisees wallowed in faithless condemnation of it:
“Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus confronts them:
“Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
Interesting dilemma His question poses. On one hand only God forgives, on the other only God Heals. Manipulating creation to heal the cripple is easy compared to the price God paid to provide forgiveness. Jesus healed the fellow, leaving no doubt about who He is.
Jesus used creation (the body of the cripple) to show us who He is.
We experience the same kinds of pharisaical ignorance today. God’s favored witness to himself is creation. His mastery of creation was the devil’s first challenge when he tempted Christ:
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
What we can learn about creation is a testament – a witness of God’s love and glory.
“…what may be known about God is plain … For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Paul lays this out and there is no equivocation — everyone — having faith or not — has seen Gods witness in creation. This flatly states that agnostic scientific understanding illuminates God’s Glory!
There are a couple of governing principles that we should use to develop and guide our use of these facts.
First: God does not lie.
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Nu. 23:19.
Second: Witnesses attesting to the truth cannot be in conflict.
“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Deut. 19:15.
Therefore, Gods Creation cannot be in conflict with Gods Word. They are both witnesses to His truth.
Many make the mistake of presuming that Creation is subject to the written word. Scripture instructs that Creation took place in 6 literal days. So be it.
But that would mean that what can be known of creation by Creations’ independent witness of science (that the earth is very old) is giving a conflicting statement. This, by definition, cannot be. So it must be like Jesus’s question to the Pharisees.
Which is easier to be: Fully God and Fully man, or be God who established 14.8B years of cosmology and wrapped it up in 6 Days?
Jesus’s rebuke to the devil was that “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that flows from the mouth of God.”
God’s first words that we know of, were to speak things into being.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5
Are we listening? It does not say, in the beginning was the “Bible.” Creation tells us one story and the Bible provides a complimentary witness. It’s 14.8B years ~and~ 6 days. Fully God and Fully Man.
By the way, I completely get that we’re surrounded by basic bible thumping evangelical flat-earth “believers” who won’t understand this post. Neither did the religious leaders of Jesus’ time.