But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:20)
For as much as God’s people through history have claimed to desire God’s Kingdom, it is amazing how blind we are to it whenever it is revealed to us. In the time of Christ, Jesus does God’s will, bringing the Kingdom to Israel, and yet most couldn’t see it and some even accused Him of doing Satan’s bidding. So concerned were those people about religious rules and regulations, that they preferred to see Christ’s mighty deeds as satanic since he didn’t observe their religious rules. Of course, He declared Himself to be Lord of those rules as God’s Word, however, the religious leaders were more interested in religion than in the Kingdom. Archimandrite Aimilianos points out that from the beginning humans have missed the signs that God was giving them, and so missed the mark of what humans are created to be. He talks about Adam, the first human, totally missing the opportunity to live in God’s Kingdom because after he sinned, broke a rule, he wasn’t willing to admit his fault and seek mercy from his Creator (and experience God’s blessed Kingdom). Instead, he chose to try to live apart from God, rather than have to experience God’s self-revelation. Adam’s story is our story.
And so it was with Adam: ‘I’m over here, hiding, because I was afraid to see you, because I’ve sinned. I’m afraid that you wouldn’t accept my excuses; that you’d say it was all my fault. I was afraid that you would no longer acknowledge me as your child.’ To be sure, Adam’s desire to justify himself, the various excuses he contemplated, were the signs of certain death. And This is why St Makarios says: ‘When Adam fell away from God, he died spiritually.’ Seeking to justify himself, Adam condemned himself to life without God.
Until then, the damage wasn’t fully done; the blow could have been blunted, the tragedy averted. This was the critical moment, which we all must face, when it becomes clear whether we’ll choose God or our self. As a general rule, we choose our self. Every day we repeat the sin of Adam. He fell when he opened his soul to the poison of the serpent, but there was still hope that he might turn and embrace God. He could have raised his arms to God and cried: ‘God, I am your voice, your self-expression; I am your creation, your child, and I have sinned. Bend down and hold me; save me before I perish completely!’ Instead, he said, in effect: ‘What do you want, God? Have you come here to judge me?’ (THE WAY OF THE SPIRIT, p 239)