“…but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die (Genesis 3: 3).'”
Read Genesis 3. We equate knowledge with power and with life. Think of all the lives that have been saved by the scientific knowledge practiced now in the medical professions! How can it be that knowledge ever leads to death? Yet knowledge is power, and power, in human hands, sometimes yields good results and sometimes yields destruction. List the crimes, wars, and terrorism you read about today in the news or the most destructive conflicts in history and think of the technical knowledge and the struggle for power behind them. Then it is not hard to imagine how knowledge, in the twisted and broken hands of humans, can lead to death.
Knowledge is our hunger and thirst. We crave it like a castaway cries out through cracked lips for a rain drop! The moment we humans gain some partial knowledge, some new control over part of life, we, like Adam and Eve in the garden, are immediately tempted to believe we can control everything. Because we aren’t God and we only have partial knowledge, we make a mess of things! Knowledge, like wealth, is not evil in and of itself. It is our desire to be in control of everything, to rule all, to have our way above all other ways, to be God, that is the root sin and the cause of all evil in the world.
So where is our hope for humanity, or the world? It is not purely in knowledge. We find our hope and salvation in Jesus Christ who alone can heal the human heart and mind. His way is to use power to serve, to give life to others, to share power with those he loves while never relinquishing his ultimate Lordship over all things. As followers of Jesus’ way of life, we too, are to use what power we’ve been given to serve and give life to others.
Lord Jesus, thank you for cleaning up the messes we make when we abuse the powers you give. Free us from our sin sickness to trust you fully, and to live fully as agents of your loving service for the life of the world. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
Peace of Jesus,