Seeing the Image of God in Others
WE SEE VERY EARLY in the story of the Bible that man is created in the image of God. In the story of Creation we read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
So...what difference does it make knowing that everyone you meet is created in the image of God?
Well for starters, we learn that every life is of value. This is the basis for the sanctity of human life. After Noah and his family come out of the ark, God warns them against the taking of another human life. Why is that a capital offense? Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
Therefore, we speak up for the unborn. Psalm 139:13-16 celebrates how the image of God is stamped upon every human being at conception. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
From Noah’s story, we also learn how every family can trace their lineage back to Noah. In Genesis 9:19, after mentioning the three sons of Noah it says, “and from these the people from the whole earth were dispersed.”
Therefore, we speak up for racial justice. The Bible does not speak of different races; instead, it speaks of one race: the human race. So, when Gensis 1:27 tells us that God created man in his own image he was referring to all human beings. Our fellow human being is our brother and our sister, no matter what color of skin they may have or what country they come from. Because they are created in the image of God their concern becomes our concern.
Finally, the fact that every human being is made in the image of God governs how we treat people and talk about people. Jesus said in Sermon on the Mount that whoever insults his brother by calling him a fool or an idiot is guilty of the same kind of disregard for human life that is found in murdering someone (Matthew 5:21-23).
Therefore, we speak with kindness to one another, even our enemy. Why? Why would I speak kindly to someone who is my enemy? James gives us the reason why in James 3:9. Having acknowledged that the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison, he goes on to say: “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”
So…what difference does it make knowing that everyone you meet is created in the image of God?
It makes a huge difference!
- It makes us speak up for the vulnerable.
- It makes us speak up for justice.
- It makes us speak with kindness.
May we all see the value of every individual and treat them as precious to God.
Login/Register to leave comment