Can Jesus warm up a burrito so hot that even He cannot eat it?

Yes, I think so.

This relates to the idea of “omnipotence” (unlimited power) as one of the attributes of God, something present in many belief systems, including Christianity. The typical response to this is to say that omnipotence is subject to the limits of what power can intrinsically do. It cannot, for example, involve a logical contradiction. God cannot, for example, make one plus one equal three.  As C.S. Lewis puts it, nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.

Some thinkers reply similarly to questions like this, such as whether God can create a stone too heavy for Him to move.  I think there is a subtle difference, however. An analogy that comes to mind for me is computer programming.

The computer is a creation of man.  Within the confines of a programming language and the limits of the hardware, man has complete control over what a computer does.  From a computer’s perspective, man might as well be omnipotent.

However, a talented developer can even create a game so difficult that he cannot beat it. This is not just theoretical, it’s been done again and again. Part of the fun of creating games is to find out where those boundaries are. If man has this kind of power within a limited realm, isn’t is reasonable to suspect God has a similar power in the universal realm? That is, the power to intentionally create challenges for Himself, some of which are too difficult for Him to overcome. I suspect that to say that He does more closely approaches the true meaning of “omnipotence”.

Of course, this is obviously speculation on my part. There is not a single mention of the word “burrito” in the New Testament.  (I’m not sure if “gyro” is the Greek equivalent, but that word doesn’t appear either.) In any event, speculating on the outer limits, if any, of God’s power is not an exercise for which any mere mortal is especially qualified. It’s a fun parlor game, and if it helps you resolve stumbling blocks, then it is useful in that regard, but it is not necessary for spiritual maturation. One can grow a lot simply by accepting that God is way more powerful than we are, and loves us, and has given us a glimpse of Himself through Jesus.

One thought on “Can Jesus warm up a burrito so hot that even He cannot eat it?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *