Mark 16: 18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis may be reassuring to some and disturbing to others. Somewhere, there’s got to be a middle of the road on that one. The story of the fall of man can be depressing or comforting.
When we think of the sin of partaking of the forbidden fruit, as was originally done in the Garden of Eden, we are left in a quandary of feelings, for many of us, unequalled in the literary world. The fall of man caused by the forbidden fruit and the serpent, changed the way the world is, and will forever be. We think of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the Covid 19 virus changing the world forever. Those were minor compared to Eve and the forbidden fruit.
I find it interesting the world has blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus for hundreds of years and continues to punish Israel. However, if Eve had not given in to the temptation of the serpent, Jesus’s death on the cross would not have been necessary.
Many believe the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent is an Old Testament parable. Many believe it literally happened. Adam was a real man and Eve was a real woman. Assuming the latter is true, what was the forbidden fruit?
It certainly was not an apple. Many believe the tree was not a tree at all, but a concept. The forbidden fruit was sexual in nature and the serpent was not a snake but a very appealing man. The old-time artists and writers portrayed the serpent as a snake but this was for the sake of modesty in a pre “anything goes” world.
The leading scripture, Mark 16: 18 states “Take up serpents.” This is not referring to a snake, but the power to confront the devil/serpent. Deaths have occurred in churches handling poisonous snakes because of misinterpreting this verse. An actual snake was referred to in the Bible as a viper as in Acts 28: 3 and numerous other verses.
We know Satan is referred to as the serpent in Revelation 12: 9 and 20: 2. The “dragon” is a term also found several times in the Bible and directly, in some cases, refers to Satan or the beast in Revelation. A dragon is a mythological creature that appears to be a reptile, which would be in the “serpent” family. Are these terms figurative only?
Adam and Eve were not Jews. Abraham is usually thought of as the first Jew and he didn’t come along until eight chapters later in Genesis. We seldom think of Adam and Eve and Noah as not being Jews. God, realizing mankind had fallen into sin, knew there would eventually have to be a means for reconciliation between Himself and man.
Because of this impending doom for mankind, because of Eve’s sin with the serpent, God needed a plan. In steps Jesus; the humble servant, but all powerful with all authority (Matthew 28: 18).
I find in intriguing how the fall of man and the first prophesy of the coming Messiah appears in the same chapter. I fully well know I’m making this sound like God had no idea this series of events was going to happen and He had to adapt to the situation as it developed.
Nothing could be further from the truth and that was certainly not the intention. Most Christians, including me, believe the Creator of the Universe (God), is omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient (all knowing); and omnipresent (everywhere). In such a case, He absolutely knew what was going to happen and this is all in the divine plan.
Why? I would never even pretend to know! God has a reason for everything and none of us are wise enough to determine what those reasons are. We can speculate and opinionate until we turn blue and never arrive at a conciliatory answer to these questions.
I began this article with the title, “Adam and Eve, The Real Reason.” Is this story an Old Testament parable? That’s not the point. It’s in the Bible and because of that, God had a reason! Mankind is sinful and it had to begin somewhere. We are sinful by our nature and we need a Redeemer.
We could never be good enough to redeem ourselves or work our way into God’s presence. The divine plan is really quite simple: creation, man, sin, redemption, salvation, then, eternity.
We see in the Bible many things had an order or sequence in their events or actions. Another example that may help us to understand God’s plan is the relationship He had with the Jewish people in the Old Testament. The people would live in a state of obedience, then disobedience, then punishment, then reconciliation. The Jews passed through this four-part cycle numerous times throughout their history.
The end of the age will adhere to a similar sequence. The rapture will take place and shock the disbelieving world, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18. Then a seven year period of tribulation will begin, Matthew 24: 21. Jesus will then return and crush the head of Satan/Antichrist and cast him into the lake of fire, Revelation 20: 10. The one-thousand year millennial reign of Jesus will subsequently begin.
This grand order of thousands of years; creation, mankind, sin, redemption, salvation, and eternity is a very simplified outline, but in the grand, divine scheme of things, it helps us superficially understand God’s plan.
Adam and Eve simply played a part in that plan. Where does this leave us in God’s plan? We are mankind that can either accept or reject God’s redemption. Christianity is really very simple; you either believe it, or you don’t. Redemption is completely based on faith based belief.
It is the responsibility and privilege of the Christian to work the mandate of the Lord Jesus. Matthew 28: 18 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
All mankind can be reconciled to God and redeemed. Acts 4: 12, “There is no other name given among men under Heaven by which we may be saved.” It is a simple matter of belief; Christ Jesus crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected.
This article may invoke disagreements and even feelings of frustration because of the information we’ve been exposed to over the years. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments.