There is something odd about the story in the Garden of Eden, and it isn’t the Fall (though that is central to our faith). The story in the Garden of Eden revolves around loving obedience/respect of God (that was a failure) and two trees.
The apple (usually red) is the fruit to represent the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not being a red apple fan, it can be hard for me to see the attraction (as Eve was attracted to it). It really wasn’t an apple, maybe. We don’t know what it was.
Based upon what was provided in the story of the Fall, neither Adam nor Eve had experienced death or evil. Therefore, even their concepts of life and good were not very deep. Describing a beautiful sight to a person born blind, or beautiful sound to a person born deaf is kind of like trying to explain, good, evil, or eternal life to people who have no experience.
What did the fruit of the Tree of Life have? Some people have created imagery that show that the Tree of Life also produces apples. That similarity is interesting but peculiar.
It is the fruit of the trees, though, that show something about God. Some say that God put the trees as a test for humanity. It might be better to think of them as aspects of God in material form. As Christians, we talk about eternal life as the ultimate gift of following Jesus Christ. Eternal life was originally just a fruit. As Christians (and definitely as Nazarenes/Wesleyans/Methodists/etc), we talk about holiness and believe in it. To be holy, one must know what evil is…perhaps.
This, of course, will immediately cause many to shake or tremble, for by that logic, if God is holy (which God is), God must know evil. The fruit of the trees shows that. Knowing what evil is does not mean one is evil.
The fruits are a foreshadow of what is to come for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We will receive the “fruit” that remains in the Garden and will know what evil is so that we know what truly Holiness is.
- How does knowing evil help you know what holiness is?
- Why is knowing holiness important?
- As you think of yourself on the spectrum of 1 (Holy) to 10 (Evil), where are you?
God, you have made us lower than you and yet love us so much. Help us to know what evil is that we will instead know what it means to seek you. Amen.