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"A Misunderstood Tree" by Jason Burnett

Jason Burnett

As we read through Chapter 1 of The Story (Genesis 1-8), we meet some interesting characters. One of the most misunderstood characters is this poor tree called "Knowledge". Knowledge has two branches. One is evil. The other good. But both good and evil exist in the same tree. The tree spends its early days in isolation, lonely and untouched, until one day a deceived couple start picking at its fruit and eating it.

God has a vision for his people, but Adam and Eve choose their own vision, and are banished from the garden and the life that God had designed for them. God's great desire for them (and us) was that they would have a life in close community with God.

We often associate Adam and Eve's mishap with the tree (the "fall") with the beginning of sin. But the problem in this story is bigger than just sin. The problem here is death. Adam and Eve cut themselves off from the source of life. And now they must turn to another source of life, their own knowledge of good things, and their knowledge of evil things.

Death comes from many sources, not just sin. It is the tree of Knowledge of good AND evil. It is not the tree of sin. When we are relying on our own flesh to bring life, even good things become a source of death. If the good things you do result in people pleasing or pride, is it a source of life? If the good things others do result in competition or comparison or jealousy, is it a source of life? If the good things done in the name of God result in legalism, rules, hard doctrines, or judgmental hearts, are those sources of life?

God did not send Jesus as a solution to humanity's sin. Jesus came that we may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:9).

The Story of the Bible is about God's pursuit of His people. He wants to be in community with us, providing life. Jesus offers us a way to that life.

(A special thanks to Bob Hamp and the Freedom ministries team and their teaching on “The Problem Jesus Came to Solve”

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