Seeing the future
Jesus began to wonder how far into the future Abba could see. If he could see at all. Things happened with a measure of chance and unpredictability. Which meant that the very idea of omniscience was a little iffy. Quite apart from omnipotence. All told, Jesus was getting curious. But he knew enough to narrow his question.
“Abba, can you see the future?” he asked.
“Why do you want to know?”
“I’m curious. If you know something will happen, then you can act to change it.”
“Ahh,” Abba said. “What are you worried about?”
“You have said many times I will face attacks.”
“I have indeed. Let me answer, Jesus. The answer is yes and no. You are right in sensing the matter rests on freedom.”
Jesus had a habit of not answering when he wanted Abba to continue. So he waited.
“Do you know what inference is?”
“No,” Jesus answered.
“It’s when you assume something will happen because of what you see already.”
“If I see Joseph this morning, I will see him tomorrow.”
“ Of course. But we are always at the edge of time, Jesus. So we do not have power to predict anything exactly. We do have massive power to infer. We have a huge store of knowledge. It’s what enables us to assume this and that. All inference is based on what you already know. Or what you can guess on the basis of what you know.”
Jesus’ lips moved but no words came out. He was trying to parse out what Abba was saying.
“I think you want to know if I have powers you may not have.”
“That’s true,” Jesus said haltingly. “I do.”
“I have power that was mine at the start. I can relate to all that lives and moves. I can relate to every person. I have power to talk as we talk and offer a sense of the way forward. I have power to make things simple and direct with no nonsense or distraction.”
“That’sounds how I want to be.”
“Good. Let’s compare inferences, Jesus. You will encounter people who blame everything on the Devil. I see them all the time.”
“Yes. I know.”
“And I also infer you have something to say to these people.”
“Like stop blaming the Devil?”
“Yes. Or Satan is over. Or division is not necessary. Or a house divided can’t stand.”
“Jesus, I have visions too. I am aware of things, of everything in fact. Things are frightening. Do you know that your kings want to make war when the real enemy is sickness and disease? Do you see how terrible the waste of lives and minds is?”
“I guess. Yes.”
“That’s what inference is! You see an army. You infer idiocy. You infer sad times. You infer freedom trampled.”
“I see a lot of sick people,” Jesus added.
“There are cures. Learn science, Jesus.”
“What do you mean?”
“Learn how things work. The world is filled with wonderful learners. Ideally equipped to see what is happening. But they go to battle and die by the sword. Or stay indoors all the time. They never explore or learn. This is freedom denied. When you called out to me years ago, you were saying you want a world beyond this.”
“I want to win.”
“Do you know how long it took make freedom?”
“Your texts don’t either. A long time, Jesus. But it takes hardly any time to kill it.”