In His Image and Likeness

John 10: 31-42
Jer 20:10-13 / Ps 18

. . . believe the works, so that you may understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.
(John 10:38)

To each person reverence is due,
As everyone’s image is divine.
All our words and actions must be true,
As our image is in God’s design.

The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus. He said, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, being only a man, are making yourself to be God.’ Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods” — and the scripture cannot be annulled — can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Then they tried to arrest Him again, but He escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and He remained there. Many came to Him, and they were saying, ‘John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ And many believed in Him there.

Reflection

No man deserves to be stoned, whether by rocks or by insulting words. The first chapter of Genesis says, “God created man in His image, in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen.1:27). It was the Jews who were going to commit sacrilege by stoning Jesus if He had not prevented them.

Every person has God within him, because we are not only made in His image and likeness, but by Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been made one with Him as children of God, and inheritors of His kingdom. What an awesome thought! And yet, if we go by God’s Word, we are truly gods in the way God designed our existence. As Scripture says, God made us “a little less than a god … crowned with glory and splendour … made lord over the work of His hands … set all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:5-6). If God did not endow us with such dignity, would He have taken all the trouble to humble Himself, be shamed and tortured and die for our sake? That’s how precious we are in God’s eyes. So how come we can’t accord the same kind of regard and respect for our fellow human beings?

We are all born in the image of God, but sadly, it cannot be said that we constantly retain His likeness. Only by loving our neighbors as Jesus has taught us can this be so. Not by conforming our behavior to this world and age, where “we see indistinctly, as in a mirror” (1 Cor.13:12). When mankind finally reflects the likeness of God in this world, then we shall finally live in His kingdom.

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place — what are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? (Psalm 8:4-5)

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