The Fisherman and The Scientist

BY: JOSEPH BELTRAN

Science must have really annoyed Jesus.

I don’t say this to justify Christian skepticism of today’s scientific advances.

I just say it because, really, it’s a funny thought.

Think about it. If you had the capacity to do things like, oh, I don’t know, multiply food, change water to alcohol, summon fish from the sea for your tax money… Why wouldn’t you hate science for its intrinsic boundaries on the human race?

In the same way am I led to envision a “Kendrick Lamar-ified” Jesus walking on water, healing the blind, and resurrecting from the dead to the helpless objections of His dumbfounded haters, simply smirking in the middle of it all, rapping, “Science, don’t kill my vibe…” When part of His mission on this earth was to reflect the glory of His unseen Father in Heaven whose power transcends all understanding and reason, it would only make sense that He would defy human reason or the laws of nature every once in a while.

I guess to His benefit, we could also see why He would choose uneducated fishermen and tax collectors and zealots to be His first disciples within the backdrop of a society that wasn’t quite as concerned with explaining the physical properties of water or inventing a plausible means for mass food production just yet. Probability would dictate that these men out of all the other men in Judea really would not know any better than to follow the random son of a carpenter who would say crazy things along the lines of,  “You better forcefully remove your eyeball if you’re thinking about checking out that cute girl in bio lecture ever again (Matt. 5:28),” or “you would probably have a better chance at fitting a camel through the eye of a needle than to go to Heaven if you can already afford to pay off your student loans (Mark 10:25)” – take your pick.

…I’m paraphrasing.

Luckily, our society has changed considerably since then (for better or for worse), and with technological advance after technological advance, we seem to be constantly pushing the barrier for what is held to be true. Just look at the world around us. We praise those who have done so with [insert award of choice here], while simultaneously persecuting and scoffing at the same uneducated fishermen, tax collectors and zealots of today who continue to believe in things not seen and almost impossible to explain…

All while forgetting that it takes the faith and willingness of a fisherman to dispel the doubt and uncertainty inhibiting us from walking on water and pursuing the unknown; it takes the humility and contrition of a tax collector to accept change, revision, correction; it takes the heart and persistence of the zealot to see what the eye cannot see, to believe what the world might reject, to challenge the status quo.

Against human reason and expectation, perhaps Jesus knew what He was doing when He chose His 12 apostles. And perhaps He continues to know what He is doing with each new proposal, finding, occurrence, article, and journal – more so than we can ever imagine.

And maybe, just maybe, the 21st century fisherman and scientist could be one and the same after all – inspired by the same fear and awe of the unknown, pursuing the light of knowledge and experience to illuminate the darkness of humanity, reaching toward the same goal.

Carpe Veritatem, as the saying goes in Latin.

Seize the Truth.

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