The physical person shadows the spiritual being

The human story remains enigmatic to many. Yet, the physical being stands in contrast to the spiritual being created in God’s likeness. This is exemplified in the figure of Barabbas, whose freedom brought the Jews solace, taking the place of Jesus. Notably, Barabbas translates to “son of the father,” juxtaposing Jesus as the true Son of the Father. That day, the semblance of untruth triumphed over truth. Many align with Barabbas when it comes to honest judgment.

The physical creation of Adam did not reflect God’s image, which emerged following the universe’s material formation. Adam merely represented the essence of God’s image. A person reflecting God’s image possesses knowledge, while their counterpart, not in God’s image, embodies ignorance. Understanding this is crucial to unravelling humanity’s mystery and recognizing the importance of God’s image.

Humanity’s present condition is a tangle of confusion, a prelude to grasping the divine. The pride that some hold as their identity is merely a comical deception, a false perception of reality. These individuals may garner abundant admiration from their peers. However, their pride is the only thing that sustains their material existence. Pride thrives solely on ignorance.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day (Genesis 1:3-5 RSV).

The absence of a distinction between light and darkness leads to a state of confusion. The aforementioned Scripture may not depict the day as it is perceived in the physical universe, since the Sun, which defines day within the physical realm, had not been created yet. The Book of Genesis offers a parabolic narrative that conveys spiritual meaning. Before exploring its significance, it is essential to consider the events of the fourth day of creation.

And God said, “Let there lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater lights to rule the day and the lesser lights—the greater light to rule the day and lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19 RSV).

The narrative described above outlines a pattern that is clearly understood within the physical universe. The rising sun casts a light that signifies daylight, while the sunset marks the onset of night, illuminated by the moon and stars. This cycle provides a pattern for counting days based on time. Returning to the first day, we comprehend the significance of separating light from darkness, which symbolizes the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. The true essence of light and darkness is revealed at the start of the Gospel of John.

“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:9-13 RSV).

John was not alluding to a tangible brightness that illuminates the eyes, but rather a state of understanding, marking the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Darkness denotes ignorance, whereas light represents knowledge. John’s interpretation emphasizes a spiritual state, reflecting what was set forth on the first day of creation in Genesis. The importance of the first day in the creation sequence underscores the precedence of separating knowledge from ignorance.

Knowledge is frequently associated with virtue; and ignorance with vice. The tale of Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden underscores the error of equating knowledge with ignorance. It demonstrates the challenge in discerning knowledge from ignorance, or virtue from vice. Adam’s dilemma symbolized a state of chaos, where distinguishing good from evil was impossible, implying he partook of the fruit of confusion. God declared that Adam would perish on the day he ate the forbidden fruit.

Spiritually, Adam died on the day he consumed the forbidden fruit. Yet, this demise should not be equated with physical death. Just as plants perish when removed from soil, and fish when removed from water, death signifies a severance from the source of life in the physical world. Thus, Adam’s death signified his estrangement from God, the source of human life. Consequently, after his separation from God, Adam became a being of the earth, no longer a reflection of the divine image.

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust and to dust you shall return” Genesis 3:19 RSV).

In this narrative, God was not addressing a man who had perished from consuming the forbidden fruit. Instead, He spoke to Adam in his temporal existence, then depicted with a time-lapse. In this state Adam might have lived up to ten thousand years before death claimed him. From God’s perspective, time holds little significance.

Adam lived to be 930 years old. Today, the average human lifespan is around 70 years. Methuselah holds the record for the longest lifespan, passing away at the age of 969. Nevertheless, the length of one’s life is often deemed trivial when compared to one’s spiritual state. For example, Jesus lived for only thirty-three and a half years, yet his impact on Earth is unparalleled.

One might assume that longevity on Earth equates to a broader range of experiences. Yet, it is evident that the value of physical life wanes over time. Elderly individuals often succumb to dementia and other weaknesses before death. Contrary to gaining more knowledge, they appear to lose the insights they’ve gathered throughout their lives.

The fame of such accomplishments may endure through history, yet it often diminishes swiftly with the emergence of new technologies. Many individuals considered successful die at the height of their renown. Some pass away after losing all, leaving behind conflicts over their earthly belongings. King Solomon felt compelled to express the pointlessness of amassing wealth, perceiving no value in its chase.

“I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This is also vanity. So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labours under the sun because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow and his work is a vexation. Even in the night, his heart does not rest. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:18-23 RSV).

The above Scripture speaks to the destiny of humankind, a truth often ignored by many. On this earth, vanity prevails, with success gauged by wealth accumulation, and disregarding other people. This merely reflects a perplexing state of confusion, where ignorance is misconstrued as knowledge.

Man, created in the image of God, is not just born of the earth but is divinely inspired, and designed to hold infallible knowledge. The sole purpose of Adam’s experience with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was to test his integrity. Indeed, facing the possibility of sin was necessary before Adam’s admission into the divine domain. If Adam had possessed the knowledge beforehand, he would have refrained from consuming the forbidden fruit.

Had Adam possessed knowledge comparable to that of Jesus, the serpent would have been unable to deceive him. Confusion represents a lower state, followed by a breach of trust. A soul in such a condition, unable to discern right from wrong, faces great peril yet warrants compassion, mistaking evil for good and vice versa.

Handling such individuals necessitates great tolerance and patience. Referring to Jesus, John remarked, “He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him” (John 1:11). This behaviour was characteristic of those in a state of confusion, which elucidates why they released a notorious criminal instead of Jesus. Encountering this attitude in people you are trying to assist can be immensely frustrating.

Consider the frustration of being treated badly by those you intend to assist. In such circumstances, individuals cannot be helped without divine compassion. They deserve more pity than those who betray trust. Judas Iscariot is a prime example of such betrayal, having had access to the secrets of the Kingdom of God and being charged with disseminating its teachings.

A betrayer of trust possesses more knowledge than one who is merely confused. Yet, doubt is preferable to the betrayal of trust, marked by a reluctance to reconcile known facts with the unknown. These individuals require a catalyst to rekindle their original commitment. A sceptic, although esteemed more than a betrayer, should be reminded of their pledged responsibilities. The Church of Laodicea, as depicted in Revelation 3:14-19, exemplifies this concept.

To surmount doubt, it is advantageous to recall the importance of prioritizing the collective good. Escaping doubt requires a focus on serving the many rather than the few. Focusing on personal gain invites self-reflection, which stands in contrast to the well-being of the majority. At life’s end, a knowledgeable person can take solace if their life has brought happiness to the many.

A commitment to serving the majority can alleviate doubt. Following the counsel in Revelation 3:14-19 can inspire hope. A steadfast relationship with God promises to enhance one’s situation and pave the way to salvation. Jesus, frequently dismissed by those who are perplexed, represents the likeness of God.

During periods of uncertainty, considering the greater good is crucial. Doubt may give rise to fear, often adopted for self-protection, yet this can lead to a loss of life’s essence, as suggested by Jesus. Death should be viewed as a result of humanity’s estrangement from its creator. However, Jesus’ teachings offer a means to reclaim life, suggesting a journey towards faith and understanding, overcoming the doubt exhibited by some.

The spiritual journey begins by distinguishing knowledge from ignorance, reflecting the first day of the creation narrative (Genesis 1:3-5). True comfort arises not from adhering to the unverified, but from embracing verified truths. The foundation of wisdom is laid by discerning what is known from what is not. This distinction enables the application of facts to achieve worthwhile benefits, thereby making life productive and significant.

Failure to make a distinction between the two opposites is what leads to calamitous problems. While many truths are known to be without doubt to some people, others remain with unverified and uncertain information. It is crucial to separate the verified from the unverified. This distinction is essential when beginning a quest to align with the prevailing path to humanity’s salvation.

No knowledge is more profound than the recognition of human value. Currently, society is frequently divided by race, class, and heritage. None of these divisions offer any true benefit, serving only to perpetuate ignorance. The marginalized may accept a diminished status, while those elevated may deem themselves superior to the marginalized. This delusion of comfort has made the world a dangerous place. The persistence of ignorance remains a problem, impacting even the younger generations.

The deep truth found in Jesus’ teachings serves as a foundational pillar. Jesus’ coming was not meant for Trinitarian idolatry but to offer mankind a model that demonstrates the significance of our divine resemblance. To reject such teachings is akin to rejecting life itself. Those who understand these truths have no reason to be timid. The power of knowledge is invincible, and this assertion should not be mistaken for pride, as it is based on proof available to those committed to righteousness.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

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