I was watching the Matrix with my roommate the other day. To be honest, I was eight when this movie came out and at the time I thought it was weird. This notion can probably be attributed to the fact that I simply didn’t understand it.
Anyway, there is a part in the movie when Neo miraculously saves Trinity. Morpheus, after recovering from being drugged up, walks towards Neo and says to him:“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Morpheus says this to Neo in hopes of helping him realize that no matter what anyone tells him, he alone has the make the choice to walk the path even if he might not know it precisely at first. I can probably draw more biblical principles from than this quote than trying to figure out what it actually means in the context of the movie, so lets skip to that.
I have been reading 1 John lately. As I have read it, I have felt that the distinction that Morpheus capitulates to Neo does not only resonate with myself but it does even with the earliest of Christians.
For example, in 1 John 1:6-7:
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. ”
Notice John’s use of words in verse six. We don’t merely walk in darkness because we don’t know the truth, in fact we do know it, but it is because we don’t practice it. The greek word is poiumen which means to cause, make, or carry out. There is a distinction between knowing the truth and carrying it out. Did Jesus merely come to throw doctrine at us? No, but we are to live as if that doctrine has infultrated every corner of our live, or as John puts in 2:4-6:
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
This is our proof that we know him. It is not that we are perfect, but the love of God is being perfected in us by walking in the truth of his word. In no way am I stating that everything that we believe is correct. I know that there are an abundance of lies and fallacies that we tend to believe and that need continual conversion. I am saying that what we do know, that being the truth of the gospel, isn’t understood in a way that always translates into the way we live our lives.
When expounding the gospel, I often do so by hurling doctrines at the person I am speaking to instead of explaining the gospel in light of the person Jesus Christ and his call to Kingdom living. The gospel is a call to a new way to be human. One of obedience, life, and love. We must walk in that which we know, for this is the cost of the disciple.