What if the problem that Jesus came to solve could actually prevent us from understanding the problem that Jesus came to solve?
What if the fall of man affected more than our ultimate destination, and more than our nature? What if it also affected the way that we know things?
Did you know that the way you know something actually matters more than what you know?
Like a pair of glasses we look through, but never look at, Adam and Eve left the Garden with a new nature but also a new set of perceptual mechanisms. As a result, the whole human race views reality through a common set of lenses; The Knowledge of Good and Evil.
As startling as it is to our Christian pre-suppositions, the chapter in the Bible (Genesis 3) that contains the narrative of the problem that Jesus came to solve does not contain the word “sin” at all. Before you run screaming from my blog, you should know that the concept of “sin” is all throughout the chapter, but by the nature of the problem that Jesus came to solve, we think of sin in all kinds of one-dimensional and non-helpful ways.
Lets look again at Genesis 3, but this time let’s think differently.
To set up the next several posts, I would actually like to begin with Genesis 2:9 to help us set the scene for what comes next.
Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. – Genesis 2:9 New American Standard
The reason it is important to set the scene here, is that the scene looks different to the players before Genesis 3 than it does after the tragic fall. Don’t miss it. Look again.
We all know what trees look like; green leafy things with branches. But if we follow the imagery a bit further we discover something that none of us have ever seen; at the end of these branches is something called Life and Knowledge. Adam and Eve had a way of seeing, that allowed them to see what we are entirely unable to see. They could see life and they could see knowledge. This way of seeing is part of what we lost, and it is this new way of seeing that sets us up to easily misunderstand the problem that Jesus came to solve.
Jesus makes this statement in John Chapter 3, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and you do not understand these things?” Interestingly He was also referring to trees, and the kinds of things that are visible and invisible to the human eye. It would seem that if we are going to be teachers and leaders we must have some need of learning something about this issue.
In the next several posts I want to help us all think differently about the problem that Jesus came to solve. Start by considering that what we see, may not be all that is present to be seen. Start by considering that what we see is directly connected to the way we see.
Can you think of a time when you saw a person or a circumstance in a whole new way? How did that change things? Have you ever seen you relationship with God in a whole new way? How did that change things?