Section 3: Humanity
Week 4: The Image of God within Us Has Been Distorted
Day 3: Jesus Shows Us What the Image of God Ought to Look Like
2 Cor. 4:4-6
The gospel of John begins with an amazing description of Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). In context, “the Word” is a clear reference to Jesus. John’s point is that Jesus is God himself. We’ll go into this more in a later section, but it’s important to remember Jesus is not only God, he is God in the flesh. Jesus was (and still is) just as human as you or me. Because he is both God and man, Jesus is uniquely able to demonstrate what the image of God within man ought to look like.
We see that most clearly in Jesus’ sacrificial nature. In the section on God, we noted God naturally gives of himself for the benefit of others. He does this because that’s part of who he is at his core. So it should come as no surprise that we see the same willingness to sacrifice demonstrated in Jesus’ life.
Paul gives us a sense of the depth of his willingness to sacrifice in Philippians. As Paul explains, even though in his very nature he was God:
[Christ Jesus] did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Phil 2:6-8)
Rather than looking for ways to use his power and privileges as Creator for his own benefit, he became human because he knew we needed him to. He humbled himself by becoming human and endured rejection by his own people because he knew we needed him to go to the cross to pay the penalty we deserved for sin.
Because he is God himself, in Christ we see God’s selfless nature personified. Because he is also human, we see human nature personified as well. In his life, therefore, we see the image of God reflected in humanity the way God intended.
As you think about the life of Jesus, what part of his life do you find most comforting? Most challenging? List one specific area where you need to conform your life more directly to his.
As you go through this day watch for one opportunity to respond the way that Jesus would.