‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness’ (Genesis 1:26 NIV)
Have you ever seen ‘The Apprentice’ on the TV? All of the candidates to be Lord Sugar’s apprentice have to complete a CV documenting who they are and what they have achieved.
Towards the end of the process the surviving candidates have their CV’s examined and often it’s revealed that they have included some pretty outrageous claims.
But I don’t remember any candidate ever including that they were ‘made in the image of God’.
It might sound presumptuous on a CV but it is actually true.
The first chapter of Genesis refers to the creation of animals, insects, birds and fish, but it is only human beings that are described as being created in God’s image and likeness (a Hebrew parallelism where the same point is made using different words).
But what does it mean to be made in the image of God?
Over the years the Christian church has come up with a number of answers to that question, here are the main ones:
- Reason and language – The ability to reason and speak are seen as human distinctives
- Will – We have free will; something that is assumed of human beings throughout Scripture, yet never taught of animals
- Spirituality – We have the capacity to worship, whether it be God or some idol
- Authority – Human beings have been entrusted with authority over God’s creation as God’s stewards
- Creativity – God is creative and we are like him by being creative. We are unlike God in that we cannot create out of nothing, but nevertheless we can create and enjoy things like art, music and literature
- Relationship and community – We image God not just as individuals but together in relationship. We bear the image of God who is in relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Truly we have been
‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14)
Now that’s something impressive to put on our CV’s
Father, thank you that you were willing to share with us your own likeness, and even though this has been marred by sin you have sent your Son, your perfect image, so that through him we can be perfectly restored to your image and likeness.