The whole of Scripture begins with the beautiful account of how God brought the world into being. Verse 1 introduces God who begins creating. Verse 2 goes on to introduce the Spirit of God who was moving over the surface of the waters. And then, after the creation of so many different objects and beings in verse 26 we read that God addresses His fellow-creators with, ‘Let Us make man in Our image’. This surprising statement points to a unity and a diversity within the Godhead.
Although on a surface reading of Genesis chapter 1 Jesus is not explicitly mentioned, when we move into the New Testament we realise that He was a key part of the creation proceedings. John begins his gospel by describing Jesus as ‘the Word’ (John 1:1ff) and quickly attributes to Him ‘All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life…’ (vv3,4). Jesus, the Word, was with God, was God, is God and was involved in creating all things at the very beginning of time.
In Colossians Paul picks up on this theme and gives further insight. Talking of Jesus he writes, ‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth…all things have been created through Him and for Him’ (Colossians 1:15,16). Jesus not only was involved in creating but also in sustaining the creation once it had been made. But at the same time, it was made for Him! On top of this, since Jesus is described as being ‘the image of the invisible God’ it means that in Jesus, God became visible.
Thus at the outset of his account the writer of Genesis describes a great mystery for us. Man, being made in God’s image reflects God. And in a similar way Jesus reflects His Father.
What dignity, then, is bestowed on mankind right in the very first chapter of the Bible! We reflect the Maker and are described in the same terms as Jesus who is the image of the invisible God.
Further reading: John 1:1-5 Colossians 1:15-20
To think about:
We reflect the Maker. He is the Creator and therefore as we are made in his image we also are creative. Whilst a creative response to these Bible studies is optional, think about how you could opt in! Read this blogs’ introductory post Optional Creative Responses to help you.
|Part of a poem by Phil Clarke on a painted background by Bernice Hopper