Sermon 15-4-26


Fourth Sunday of Easter

1. John 3: 1 & 2

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

We are children of God! (King James originally translated sons, but that is not correct.) We are unknown to the world, because it doesn’t know him. We don’t know what we shall be except that in the end we shall be like him. After all God has created us in his own image, in the image of God created he us, male and female (Gen. 1: 27). (This verse actually has been translated in a confusing manner. See the comments on Adam and Eve.) Isn’t it remarkable that Genesis only mentions the fact that we are male and female? What about an upright stance, a big brain, forward facing eyes to judge distance, an opposable thumb, to grab objects to use as tools, what about all our internal organs? None of that seems important. Male and female, that’s the only thing that matters.

Male and female is important for reproduction of course. But was that meant here? In verse 28 ‘God blessed them (men, including women), and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, ….’ Does this mean, being male and female is only for reproduction?

Earlier in Gen. 1: 22 ’God blessed them (animals), saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.’ There is no mention of the creatures being male and female. (Actually the word for ‘replenish’ in ‘replenish the earth’ and ‘fill’ in ‘fill the waters and the seas’ is both times the same in the Hebrew text.) Why is it not mentioned that the other creatures were created male and female? Because being male and female is for a divine experience, so ‘that our joy may be full!’ (1. John 1: 4).

Actually the words for male and female in Gen. 1: 27 are very reminiscent of the sexual organs. The word for female, neqebah, is the female version of the word neqeb, which means a hollow, it can mean a cave, but in modern Hebrew it has developed into the fitting for a jewel. The word zakar for male really means permeating. It is related to the word meaning ‘to remember’, the idea being that the person remembering something is permeated by the thought of it.

This is how God has made us, women with a tight fitting hollow and men permeating it!