There is a question I’ve asked myself in a moment of contemplation that haunts me.
“Is the love of God dwarfed by his ability to communicate?”
As disciples of Jesus we have been set free by the love of God. We experienced this freedom when we heard, understood, and received the message of the Gospel. God sacrificed everything, humbled himself and took on the likeness of a man; he even humbled himself to the point of death on a cross… Why? Because he loved us!
God went through extraordinary lengths; exhibited divine patience and mercy, to ultimately offer grace through self-sacrifice. Yet, this message goes unheard for millions in with each passing generation.
How can we reconcile the grandeur and vastness of the love of God, when it stands in contrast to his impotent ability to communicate this message?
You, and I, we believe we have this innate right to know important things first hand. We see and act as people who are entitled to the things of God. When something fails in our lives we excuse ourselves and shift the fault to God, as if he already owes us something. We are people clouded by our sense of “rights.”
So when it comes to the message of the Gospel we detest the idea that all aren’t given equal knowledge or opportunity. We scream at the injustice of such a God. And no matter how much we inquire and search, the Bible is clear on the scandalous message of practicality.
The scandal of particularity is that God has not chosen all equally. He has equally given his blessing, nor his revelation. He has not called all nations or people to be his witnesses, nor has he ultimately given salvation to all.
As democratic people of the West we cannot understand a God who does not give equal opportunity. Yet, this is the tension we are faced with in the scripture.
God called the nation of Israel among all the nations of the World to be his witnesses. Why? Simply because.
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:6-8
Transition with me to the New Testament and examine the life of Jesus. God chose to become a man, not many men in many generations on many different continents. No, Jesus came in the flesh just once. Then as a man he called 12 disciples, and of the twelve he had only 3 that he did everything with. Furthermore, as a man he began his public ministry at the age of 30 and only lasted approximately 3 years. And in those 3 years he taught, fed, and healed the crowds, but he also singled out individuals like the woman at the well and Zacchaeus, and chose to spend a few hours, or an evening with them alone. He did not allocate his time equality, as some would say “fairly.”
When a celebrity or author comes to town for a book signing we understand we may only stand before them for a moment, possible get to share words for a minuet, then be shuffled past. We also think nothing of the friends they choose or the people they invite over for dinner understanding that they are human.
Yet, if God was came to town, and after standing in line for hours, we saw him invite one man over for dinner, or talk with one woman for an extended period of time, meanwhile shuffling others past him, we would exclaim “How dare he?” We would question his justice, his love, or his power to speak with us all.
However, this is precisely the scandalous message of the Bible.
So let me return to my original question, “Is the love of God dwarfed by his ability to communicate?”
No, we must understand that God’s love is not dwarfed by his ability to communicate, but our ability to receive. In the end, it is our pride that hinders the receptivity of the Gospel. We think God should speak directly to us, not share his message through others, even creation. We cringe at the reality that God has called a few and chosen fewer to make disciples of the nations.
Entertain the idea the maybe God chose to share his Gospel second-hand because the first step in receiving the Gospel is humility; humility to see that we are sinners, humility to see that we are not the center of the universe, humility to surrender everything and worship him.
Don’t be turned off in reading this, nor let your pride get the best of you. Understand that God loves you, and that he just might have called me to share his love with you.