by Kevin Roop
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
What a delightful way to begin: in the beginning. With these words, Genesis, the book of beginnings, begins. With this truth, the Bible – the Word of God – begins. The earth where we live, the universe in which we exist, didn’t just happen. God created it. That’s something all people will benefit from knowing. It’s also something that Christians should never surrender or fudge.
I’m not saying that this knowledge is, in itself, our anchor. For the Christian, the anchor of all things is Jesus Christ. This Jesus, our anchor, is not just a great teacher, a great philosopher or a good man. Jesus doesn’t allow Himself to be categorized or limited in this way. He claimed Himself to be the Son of God, the Savior of the world. So He is, and so we believe.
Jesus knew who He was, and He knew what He was talking about. We need to take His words seriously. When the Pharisees questioned Him about divorce, Jesus said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’” (Matt. 19:4-5). Jesus matter-of-factly references Genesis 1 and 2. He speaks of the creation as accepted historical fact. Was He lying? Was He simply ill-informed, lacking knowledge of scientific discoveries and explanations that would come over the next two millennia? Or did He in fact know exactly what He was talking about?
The New Testament holds that Christ had intimate and authoritative knowledge of the origins of the universe, since He was, in fact, there. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). Not only was Jesus there, all things were made through Him.
We who bear the name of Christ can trust what Jesus says – everything that Jesus says. We are redeemed sinners. We are also creatures. The Creator made us for His own purposes. That is true today, just as it was in the beginning.
The Rev. Kevin Roop is pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Marcus, Iowa.