Man Created #1: Outside the Garden
Man Created #1: Outside the Garden
Men were created dangerous. Do you have someone in your life who is enamored with the nature documentaries, all the flora and fauna in harmony, until they see the lion take down the gazelle? Nature is inherently dangerous. Around here a killer prowls the neighborhoods, we call that killer a coyote. It eats your pets, it may even eat your kid. Little dogs beware of the eagle. On the mountain trails we have mountain lions, they can go after full-grown people. Nature is dangerous, rip tides, lightning storms, earthquakes, tornados, drought, flooding, and tsunamis. Temperatures too hot, too cold, dust storms and avalanches, volcanos, and quicksand. Along with the carnivores, let’s not forget the bites and stings of poisonous insects and plants. We’ve done our best to civilize nature, we’ve removed as much as the danger that we can, and are lulled into the illusion that nature is nice. Nature is beautiful, nature was the power to refresh the soul. but it’s also dangerous.
God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul! Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it.
God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order.
Men are dangerous because they have been charged by God to be His representative on earth, to be responsible for the care of the creation (Gen 1:26). The one responsible is also the one given the power to carry out that responsibility. The man’s physiology is designed to carry out the task, to complete the mission.
The first man was created in the wild, in nature, outside of the Garden. The first man was undomesticated (John Eldredge, Wild At Heart, p. 4). I’ve boasted to Sherri that I may be trained but I remain untamed, at least in my mind. The first man was created in the image of God, the nature of God is imprinted upon him. When we examine Jesus we see what that nature is like in action on the streets.
For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost."
One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: "Let the children alone, don't prevent them from coming to me.
Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, "Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a shopping mall!"
Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?" "No one, Master." "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."
"I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God's kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won't let anyone else in either. "You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned. "You're hopeless! What arrogant stupidity!
A leper came to him, begging on his knees, "If you want to, you can cleanse me." Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy.
So Jesus explained himself at length. "I'm telling you this straight. The Son can't independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does.
Don't you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies—more, if I want them—of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready?
Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
A man needs a mission, something he is passionate about. He needs to live for something bigger than himself. He needs authority to help guide him. He needs to know that he is capable and competent, that he has what it takes. He needs the challenge to prove it. He needs self-respect from getting the job done. He needs something worth dying for. Then he uses his strengths for good.
Then listen to what Jesus said:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."