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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Saturday-The Image


 

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

 

Colossians 1:15,16

 

When our daughter Jenny was born, she was the first grandchild for Mary Ann’s parents and the first granddaughter for my parents. All four of them were thrilled to say the least. They loved to hold her and were just melted as they looked deeply into her face. They then started the famous and popular game that everyone plays, trying to figure out who Jenny looked like. Did she look like Mary Ann? Did she look like me? Did she look like someone else in the family? As Jenny grew, their opinions changed. She looked more like me. Then more like Mary Ann. For a while she was a dead ringer for one of Mary Ann’s aunts. But eventually Jenny’s appearance seemed to settle into who she is today.

 

When it comes to Jesus, the same thing can and cannot be said about him. Yes, he did physically grow and change. He grew in wisdom and stature[1]. He was born as a baby and grew into a man that could carry a cross. But in another sense, Jesus never changes or changed. With God, there is no changing[2]. No “growing up.” God doesn’t change his mind[3]. There’s no getting smarter or wiser. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever[4].

 

Paul wastes no time going “all in” on the truth that Jesus was and is God. Period. With a vengeance, he goes after the lie and false idea that Jesus isn’t God. Paul’s absolutely convinced that Jesus was and is God from eternity past that entered human history as a man. And this man Jesus shows us who God is. Paul uses two ideas to explain how Jesus not only shows us who God is but shows us God himself.

 

  • Representation. Jesus is an exact, precise model of who God is. In every way possible, Jesus acts, thinks, and speaks exactly in the same way that God does. Jesus doesn’t just sort of look like God. Jesus doesn’t just happen to be God-like. No, Jesus deliberately and purposefully looks exactly like God because he is God. Think of a typewriter: every time the letter A is pressed, the same letter always, always, always prints. You never hit the A key and a Q appears. The exact opposite is also true: you never hit the Q key and an A appears. Jesus and God aren’t like eggs or snowflakes. Yes, all eggs and snowflakes pretty much look alike. They have the same shape and parts. But each one is absolutely different. Unique. Jesus is the exact picture and reflection of God. Both God the Father and God the Son always existed. That’s why Jesus could say that he and the Father are one[5].

  • Manifestation. God is totally invisible to us. Both our outward physical eyes[6] and our inward eyes within our mind and conscience. While we can’t see him, we can see what he has done and learn some limited things about him through creation[7]. This is why God always has to be the one who starts the relationship. Since we can’t see him or figure him out, God himself must be the one who starts the conversation. Initiates the relationship. This is why Jesus came. Because no one has ever seen God, or can understand who he is, God himself in Jesus had to come. God himself had to make himself known to us[8].

 

This is why Jesus can say words that no one else in the history of planet Earth could say.

 

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

 

John 14:9

 

This is about as radical of a thing that Jesus could say. He was claiming not only to have an eternal and deeply personal relationship with God the Father, but that he was God himself. There’s no getting around the fact that Jesus claimed to be God. Some very nice people that ring your doorbell or talk with you on the street will try to tell you different. They’ll do their best to make Jesus out to be an angel. Or some other spiritual creature.

 

But Jesus never said that about himself. He says that he’s God. Period. You either take Jesus as God or you don’t take Jesus at all. There’s no middle ground. It’s all one thing or the other. You can’t be partially married. You either are or you’re not. And when it says that Jesus is the image of God, that means that he is God. There’s no middle ground. Which side are you on?

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Who in your family do you look like? How do you feel about it?

  • Why is calling Jesus equal with God so important? So outrageous?

  • How is Jesus being God important to you and your daily life?


[1] Luke 2:52

[2] Malachi 3:6

[3] Numbers 23:19

[4] Hebrews 13:8

[5] John 10:30

[6] 1 Timothy 1:17

[7] Romans 1:20

[8] John 1:18

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