Saint Patrick is one of my favorite Christians to learn about. His story of privileged childhood giving way to slavery and then devotion to the people who captured him is inspiring. Besides, my ancestors owe him an untold debt of gratitude for bringing the love of Jesus to them on both the British Isles.
So, when I got to thinking about an interesting process in nature I immediately thought of Patrick and his shamrock analogy. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect analogy of something infinitely mysterious, but this can be useful to help us picture a truth about God that confuses many people.
Here’s the analogy: Jesus is God the Eternal Son, that is, he has always been there and is just as much God as the Father in a similar way as daughter bacteria are the same age and stuff as the parent bacteria.
When it’s time for bacteria to multiple themselves they don’t get married like we do. They make clones.
First, the bacteria get bigger, building supplies and DNA for the needs of two cells instead of just one. When everything is prepared, a wall forms between the two sets of chromosomes and soon the two copies divide into independent “daughter” bacteria.
Here’s where the analogy comes in:
- Which of the two daughters is older than the other?
- Is one the “real” bacteria and the other a copy similar but different than the original?
The answers to these questions are easy. Both of the split bacteria are equal. They are made of the same stuff. Neither is older than the other.
There’s another interesting thing to think about:
- Can these bacteria be in two places at the same time?
Sure. One can stay where the “parent” bacteria had been living while the other moves on to some other place.
Now to see how this helps us picture God.
- He knew before creating the world there would need to be a Kinsman Redeemer for Adam’s family, I Peter 1:20
- Jesus has always been God, John 8:58
- There was a time Jesus was made The Son, Psalm 2:7
- At a particular moment in time, Jesus got a human body and lived here on earth with us, His family, John 1:10-14
- Jesus was temporarily separated from the Father by our sin, Matthew 27:46, II Corinthians 5:21
The good news was His holiness was so powerful He conquered sin right there on the cross and lives forever as our Savior!
And [Jesus] is the radiance of [God the Father’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3 NASB
Want to learn more about bacteria and how they split? Check these out:
Britannica: Binary Fission
Science Prof Online: Binary Fission
Cornell: Bacteria Reproduction