Genesis 1:24–2:1, Genesis 3:6–13, Psalm 11, Matthew 6:22–23
Up through verse 25, God’s creative acts end with the epithet, “…God saw that it was good.” Then God made mankind. With the completion of that act, “…God saw that it was very good.” The word very can also be translated as exceedingly. Look around. Do we look exceedingly good? Our wars, our violence, our hatred, our favoritism, our biases, our brokenness. Exceedingly good? It is indeed true that our issues are not as God intended. Creation with the advent of humankind was very good. Then humanity lost it all.
“Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” -Obi-Wan Kenobi*
Eve saw. Adam witnessed. Their eyes “were opened.” Obi-Wan Kenobi was very wise in sharing with his young disciple about how our eyes do indeed deceive us. Illusionists and magicians are very much aware of this. If you’ve ever had motion sickness, it is often a result of a disconnect between your eyes and your inner-ear (or your stomach). Your eyes give your body a signal, and the rest of your body disagrees.
Yet, we have many phrases (like Thomas) such as, “I’ll believe it with my own eyes.” It’s as if we think our eyes are more “honest” or “true” than another’s. There is also the reality that often what we see is not the whole story. Most people now believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun. It wasn’t that long ago that people believed that a chariot pulled the Sun through the sky or some other similar mythology. They based their conclusions upon what they saw.
Now, this could easily end up being a wild goose trip, if we let it. This is where both Psalm 11 and Jesus’ words in Matthew come in. The physical aspect of our eyes is one thing. Our eyes “lead” to our soul. While the serpent’s deceit and Eve’s (along with Adam’s) pride to “be like God,” definitely are part of the picture, Eve “saw” the apple. If we look at the 10 Commandments, much of it involves vision to some degree.
God sees all we do. Our eyes deceive us in that we don’t see God, so he must not see us (the sinner’s version of peek-a-boo). When Jesus warns us about the relationship between our eyes and our souls, it is because of how our eyes will often draw us away from the True desire of our souls…a deep and abiding relationship with God.
1) We often look to others and compare ourselves to them. How does that lead us away from the Very Good Life?
2) Our culture is very visual. Advertisers and media companies are aggressively pursuing our eyeballs. How should Jesus’ words influence our response? How does that reinforce Jesus’ words?
3) The original sin has a symbol…an apple and a snake. Our salvation has a symbol…the cross. The church as #framily has a symbol…the cup and bread. What other symbols can you think of that evoke a powerful response?
*GEEK ALERT! Just in case you don’t know the reference, this is from the movie Star Wars: A New Hope.