Made in the Image of God

Photo by Lindy Baker on Unsplash

So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

My son, Elijah, is eight years old.  I remember the proud feeling a dad has when he holds his little boy.  I looked down at that little man and smiled so big.  His dark brown eyes looked up at me, and in my heart, I thanked the Lord.  As any parent does, we shared photos with family, and my mom shared one with my wife and me.  She asked us if we recognized the baby in the picture.  This picture looked a lot like our Elijah, but we didn’t know right away who it was.  Turns out, my mom showed us a picture of my dad.  Elijah is a spittin’ image of my dad.  Some say even today that there’s no mistaking Elijah is my son.  I guess he favors me a bit too. 

It’s amazing how features of parents are shared and combined in their kids.  There’s something similar between us and our Creator.  There are features of our Creator that are shared in us.  The Bible tells us in the beginning that God created every man and woman in His own image (Genesis 1:27).  Here are a few things that inspire me about being made in God’s image. 

First, the word image brings to mind a picture.  When I look at my dad’s baby photo, I see the similarities to my son.  In my son, I see a reflection, or a representation of my dad.  The idea of being made in God’s image is that when see a person (any person) we catch a glimpse of God’s reflection, or a representation of God himself in that person. 

The New Testament reveals that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).  As we look at the man Jesus, we get a reflection of who God is and what He is like in a more perfect way than looking at one another.  Jesus leaves no doubt.  It amazes me that the Creator God desired to reveal Himself in how every person was made! 

Second, God only made humans in His image.  No other part of creation was said to bear the image of God.  As image bearers, humans are unique and distinguished from animals and plants.  This favor sets us apart and above the rest of creation.  God has adorned each one of us with His image attributing value and worth greater than all creation. 

Third, bearing the image of God is more than a physical reflection.  Many have discussed and debated whether the image of God refers to human intellect, rationality, emotions, or the ability to communicate.  Or perhaps the image of God is a desire to know God or the ability to discern right from wrong.  I say it’s the human capacity for all of the above.  These qualities certainly reflect the attributes of God.  God is intelligent, rational, emotional, and imminent.  God is knowable, relatable, and moral.  Our Creator made us with similar combination of attributes so that we can live in a close, real, relationship with Him that no other part of creation shares. 

Smile today because you reflect the image of God.  Your value is greater than any other created thing.  When God created you, He looked forward to living with you as a loving Father.  If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it and every time he looks at you He sees a little of Himself in you.  


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