Understand what it means for all humans to be created in the image of God.
Image of God
What does it mean for humans to be made in God’s image? In the opening pages of Genesis, we see God create humanity as his co-rulers of creation, but things quickly go wrong when humans rebel and forfeit their role. After generations of sin and self-destruction, Jesus comes to set right humanity’s rebellion, opening up a new way of being human through his life, death, and resurrection.Video Details
In our modern context, it can be difficult to understand what this phrase means. But in the ancient world, being made in the image of a god was a familiar concept. Most people in the ancient world lived under the rule of a king, and these kings proclaimed themselves to be a god's image on Earth, having the authority to carry out the will of the gods. These kings would also create idols—statues of wood, stone, or precious metal—that were also said to be the physical embodiment of gods on earth, or "images of god."
Israel didn't view their kings as gods.
Contrary to the surrounding nations, the Israelites were commanded to not create idols or images of their God because God had already made images of himself in humanity.
In the beginning of the Bible, we are introduced to God as the all-powerful creator of the Earth. As the creator, he has authority over creation. But one of the first things he does is create humans and give them all authority to rule over creation by making them in his image.
In a historical context where the task of representing God and ruling over creation belonged only to a few elite kings, God gave this task to all of humanity.
But how are we expected to rule the Earth? The Bible tells us that ruling over the Earth means cultivating it, harnessing its raw potential, and moving creation forward.
In this way, the task that God gave humanity is about day-to-day activities that humans have been doing for thousands of years. Unfortunately, though humanity sometimes contributes to the flourishing of creation, we also spread sin and suffering, failing at our royal calling to be God’s image-bearers.
Jesus is the new human and the perfect image of God.
Thankfully, Jesus came to do what humanity could not do on our own. Jesus shows us what it truly looks like to live life as the image of God. Through his life, we see that living as an image-bearer means to serve and love others—no matter what they do to us. Jesus then confronts the evil and destruction that humans brought to God’s good creation, taking on the full force of the consequences of our sin when he sacrificed himself on the cross.
Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus showed us what it means to be created in God’s image, what it means to bear this royal calling. At the very end of the Bible, we see God’s ideal first introduced in the garden realized—a new creation where humans rule over creation and push the world forward as images of God with Jesus as their salvation and example.
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Son of Man
Throughout the Gospel accounts, Jesus continually refers to himself as the "Son of Man.” But what does that mean?
The opening chapters of Genesis shook the ancient world with a bold claim. All humans are made in the image of God. That was and still is revolutionary, but what does it mean to be made “in the image of God?”...
Related Podcast Series
Image of God
4 Episodes •
Follow discussions between Tim & Jon as they prepare to write the theme video on the "Image of God." Human's aren't to make idols because God already made them: Humans!
Image of God Episode 1
Humans as Middle Management
What does it mean that humans were created in "the image of God". Jon and Tim discuss this biblical theme and its implications for Jesus followers.
Image of God Episode 2
God & Human's Makeover
Being remade into the Image of God is a different Christian narrative then we usually hear. Jesus is the truly human one who represents God's reign on earth and we are joined with him through the Holy Spirit to participate in that reign.
Image of God Episode 3
The Garden Was Not Perfect
What is the chief end of man?
How does being an Image of God affect me practically?