The Bible in The Magician’s Nephew: Enter Through the Gate
I am embarking on a series of blogposts dealing with the Bible in The Chronicles of Narnia. This series will explore the not-so-obvious traces of God in C.S. Lewis’ phenomenal series and I will address different themes in all seven of the books. So get ready and enjoy as we discuss “The Bible in The Magician’s Nephew, Part I”!
The Magician’s Nephew is probably my most favourite Chronicle of Narnia! The sixth to be published, yet the first chronologically in the Series, shows us the dawn of Narnia. And much like the dawn of our own world, there is a Garden. It is gated and guarded, lovely and perilous, and there is only one safe way in: through the gate.
This scene is one of the most exciting in the Series, to me because just as easy as it is for other Christians to be excited about the mirroring of Christ’s death and resurrection in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so I also get excited about this parable. Travel with me to the Book of John if you will.
Isn’t it funny that Jesus used this parable to warn His disciples (present and to come) about those false shepherds, who we’ve heard of since Jeremiah railed against the false prophets of Israel and Paul who discerned the coming of those who would appear as angels of light, yet we see the same thing happening in Narnia.
This Witch, Jadis, who would later become the White Witch in "Lion," sets herself up to be the shepherd of peoples who are not hers to rule. In this Chronicle, we see that a son of Adam and or a daughter of Eve must rule Narnia (and Archenland, Narnia’s next door neighbor) for it to be in good, legal hands.
In this tale, the cabby and his wife pulled into Narnia from turn-of-the-century England become the first king and queen of Narnia, Frank and Helen. In "Lion" and The Horse and His Boy, we see the four Pevensie children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. In Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair, we see Caspian (Telmarine though he be) and later, his son, Rilian. And finally, in The Last Battle, we see the last king of Narnia, Tirian. All of them humans, but Jadis is a Jinn, a giantess, who only looks like a human, though she towers over them.
Even that would preach in and of itself: giants parading as humans, as seen in Genesis 6 as well as in Joshua’s Day and David’s. But I won’t burden you with that lesson today. *smile*
Jesus spoke of false shepherds who not only stole into the sheepfold illegally, but once in charge, tries to lead the sheep astray. We know, though many have tried and will continue to try this until Jesus’ return (and after), there is only one entrance into the fold of God. Jesus is the Door. And not only is He the Door, but He is the Way.
While little Digory who would later become the Professor Kirke into whose wardrobe the Pevensie children would stumble one story later and that same wardrobe being built from the wood of a fallen apple tree sired by the very tree mentioned above, he was not a Christ-type. However, the truth of the One Way, the One Gate, and One Entrance still stands.
It reminds me of The Pilgrim's Progress where two travelers temporarily accompanying Christian thought they could find another road besides the hard, yet sure one set before their feet. They fell into ruin and were seen no more.
Today, people still seek to find other ways into the pearly gates. Oprah teaches that there is more than one way. Pagans and Neo-Pagans believe in multiple ways. New Agers believe in their way. But there is only One Way. It is “the road less traveled,” but it is the road nonetheless.
You shall know the truth and it shall set you free (John 8:32). There is no “my truth,” “your truth,” or “our truth”; there is only one Truth. That Truth is a Person and His name is Jesus.