Man, the Image of God


26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Have you ever thought about the implications of this? What it means? Last week, I spent a great deal of time on this passage and how to truly understand it, because if I am honest with myself, the way that I have always understood it, the way that was taught to me (and most likely you) in sunday school, that all stems from pride.

Pride would tell us that to be made in the image of God means to be made to look like him, to have similar attributes, to have a connection to him that only man can have.

And while those things are all good and have some truth, I think we are missing something about the idea behind image.

In Egyptian culture, the idea of an “Image of God” describes the King’s function and being, not his appearance. And if we are to believe that Moses, who wrote this passage, was influenced by Egyptian/Mesopotamian thinking, then Moses would not have meant “Image of God” to refer to physical resemblance.
Rather,  This is saying that being made in the image of God makes man God’s representative on Earth. This idea is something that was common in cultures of the time period, where both Egyptian and Assyrian texts refer to kings as the image of God. Further, Man is bidden to rule and subdue all of creation, an obviously royal task. Psalm 8 makes clear the allusions to royalty and our duties as we have been crowned with glory and made to rule the work’s of God’s hand. Finally, the idea that through all history, Images of Kings or gods were viewed as representatives of those beings, even still to this day in many cultures, and the belief that the spirit of that god or King is indwelling in that image, brings up the idea of a close relationship between the image of God and God himself.

I know this is supposed to be a student ministry blog for youth pastors in small towns. But I cant help but think about how I fail at this. I think there are huge implications to how we act based off of our understanding of who we are as the image of God.

I can’t really explain why Im finding this such an incredible thought right now. I mean, this should change the way we live, knowing that we were created to be the Image of God on earth. It’s not something I didn’t know the idea of before, I just never saw it from this context, so it’s like I am learning it all over again. And I love learning, even if its something I already knew.

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