Open Eyes

In Genesis, it says this:

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

To what were their eyes opened? To themselves. To their weakness. It was a very uncomfortable awakening. They had to take action. They made clothing out of leaves.

But this covering was not enough. When they heard the Lord, they ran and hid. Some say they were motivated by guilt. I don’t think so. Listen to Adam: “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He says nothing about feeling guilty. He says he was afraid because he was naked.

Why do they feel so vulnerable? Their new separation from God made their self-awareness nearly unbearable.

Contrast this to the revelation of Jesus to the open eye of faith. This is a view that looks outward. We see the same Lord as Adam having come to rescue us with more than a covering of animal skin.

We respond in faith not in fear. We run towards him not away from him. He offers us a robe of righteousness. He has purchased this robe with his own blood, not the blood of animals.

The result is an awareness of God not ourselves. We already know we are weak and alone. That is why the rescue of God is so wonderful. We see his strength. We see the man who did not fall to temptation. We see our true hero, our Saviour.

This is a much better eye-opening experience that Adam. And make no mistake. If you see Jesus as the Son of God, it has been revealed to you by his Father. Your faith in response connects you to God.

We have received the grace of God. We know God as Our Father. Adam walked the earth as disconnected from God. Yes, he walked in clothing given to him by the Lord but he did not experience the closeness he had before.

Why not? He gave the wrong answers to the questions of the Lord. He blamed another not himself. He might have received immediate forgiveness. We can’t know because he refused to accept blame.

We never hear from Adam again. We don’t know his reaction to the curse on the earth. We know he raised a family and found that the curse on the earth did not prevent him from farming but only made it difficult.

But we find the Lord offering us living water. He says, “Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst again.” He offers himself as the Bread of Life. And Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger.”

Jesus speaks in simple words that we can understand. But they are spiritually understood. This bread is not gained by the sweat of the brow, but received as the gift of God to needy yet undeserving people like us.

He knows our needs more than we do and has come to satisfy our greatest need. He is the Tree of Life, the Water that destroys thirst, the Bread from heaven, the True Manna and more.

He says, Come and buy, without money and without price. He knows we could never afford the price and so gives it to us free instead, having paid the price himself.


The Dwelling of God

Although God has a dwelling place on earth, it is not a temple with great adornments. It is not a cathedral with an awe-inspiring ceiling. It is not even a standard Protestant church with a discreet steeple. And it’s not a plain building with a fancy name.

No, it is none other than the human heart. Are you surprised? You think God stays at the church when you go home? When the Lord says:

we do not think it’s a literal door made of wood. We say, it’s the ‘door of our heart’.

Jesus is not a home invader. He can only be invited in. But maybe we are not ready for him. It’s a mess in here, come back later, Lord. But he does not care. He wants to be with you. He doesn’t evaluate your dwelling beforehand.

He knows your place is a fixer-upper. He has seen worse. He doesn’t care. He is there to improvement your life. But he doesn’t start with that. No, he wants to sit down and have dinner with you. Even if it’s Chinese take-out. He is there for the company, your company.

But I am not worthy for you to stay with me, Lord. I need to fix things up. Go ahead, he says, I will help. Do you want suggestions? That stack of magazines can go. I was just thinking of taking them out to the trash, you say. When you return, there is a new rocking chair in that place.

He is not there to make you feel guilty. He is there to help you feel clean. He wants you to have a clear conscience. Look, I am going up to clear out the attic, he says. You do what you think best down here.

But that attic is full of a lot of old worthless junk! I know, he says, we are not going to let the past hold you back.

Later, he says, I’ve been looking at your record collection. Do you think something more hope-filled could be better? It’s a rather depressing catalog. It is, you say, I used to be depressed a lot. I don’t feel that way, so much, now that you’re here.

What do you say to better food in your refrigerator? We can have a diet of better things. Yes, you say, I’ve been chewing on guilt and envy too long. What about mercy and pure love? he asks. That does sound better, you say.

Lord, when I would lay down, my mind was full of worry and frustration. Now, that you are here, my sleep is peaceful.

Lord, I had my doubts when you knocked on my door. Now, I have no doubts. In fact, faith has replaced doubt. The order you have brought allows me to have a clear conscience. Light fills my rooms now that we have brushed away cobwebs and cleaned the dirty windows.