27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
I picked this scripture today out of the totality of the passages I was reading because it describes the very first interaction that we see between God and man. Here are a few things that I notice from this passage:
- God has created mankind from his own image. How incredible is that?! I see here that there is an immediate connection that God creates to man, presumably so that man will recognize God as God, precisely because man is made in the image of God.
- God created male and female. Beyond the connection between God and mankind, I see that God builds another partnership connection directly into mankind by creating man and woman who need each other.
- They are blessed and immediately given a mission to be fruitful and increase in number across the face of the earth.
- They are also intended to both rule over the animals of the earth and, along with the animals, to eat each of the plants that God made for food.
As I look at this, I think the biggest part that stands out to me is how God created mankind in his own image. I’m not sure what could be more telling of God’s intention. He must want people to know him and to show him to others! Why else would he make people in his own image?
I did a little looking around at some articles and videos online to help further the explanation of God making man in his own image and there are several good resources out there, including some videos from some of my favorites like John Piper and N.T. Wright, but I also found this animated video from The Bible Project that I thought was good at also explaining how people being made in the image of God also points to Jesus. I think it is worth a couple of minutes to watch, so you can see it here:
The conclusion of the video actually gets to the outcome and application of what I am thinking about relative to these verses today. God has made me in his image, which is an incredible thing, but I am good at messing it up and walking away from God on a regular basis, disobeying him on a regular basis. My desire is to bear the image of God as a king and a ruler in the way that God originally designed. As the video shows, though, I have to restore my life as a servant and in submission to God, following Jesus’s example and allowing God’s Spirit to work through me.
Yesterday, some friends of mine visited here at our home. They were asking how we would characterize 2017 and what our hopes were for 2018. In continuing to think about this, I think my hope is simple. To allow God’s Spirit to dwell in me and to follow Jesus. This doesn’t come easily and requires some work and discipline in the reading of scripture, being still and listening to God, and then walking out what he is teaching me on a daily basis, but in the times that I have experienced this, I have known that it is worth it. There are radical implications for living as an image bearer of God, but it is exactly what God made me to be.
God, will you help me to live according to your Word. I ask that you help me to understand the story that you are telling and to follow you. Spirit of God, will you work deeply inside of me, removing everything that has been placed there that is not originally from you, cleansing all of those things that are unclean through the blood of Jesus. God, I pray that you will lead me and those around me to rule as you have designed. Thank you Father for the life that you have given me and I pray that many others will understand and follow this life as well!