In God’s Image

John 10: 31-42
Jer 20: 10-13 / Ps 18:2-7

Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”?
(John 10:34)

Now that in Christ we are renewed,
Let us strive to seek the Divine;
Let our actions and words be true,
Adhere to God’s will and design.

When the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him, Jesus 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, though only a human being, are making yourself 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

In defending Himself against the charge of blasphemy, Jesus cited Psalm 82:6-7: I declare: ‘Gods though you may be, offspring of the Most High all of you, yet like any mortal you shall die; like any prince you shall fall.’ Of course we know that Jesus was more than any mortal or prince; His miraculous works, such as healing different kinds of ailments, expelling evil spirits, and raising the dead were more than enough proof that He was indeed the Son of God. “Even if you don’t believe me, believe the works so that you may realize that the Father is in me …” (Jn.10:38)

While it is true that we are all prone to commit sin because of Adam’s fall, which we bear like some universal gene, nevertheless we believe that every person has a portion of God’s spirit within him. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been made one with Him as children of God, and heirs of heaven. Indeed, if we reflect deeply on the subject, we must truly be gods in the way God designed our existence. As the psalmist wrote, God had made us “a little less than a god … crowned with glory and splendor … made lord over the work of His hands, … set all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:5-6). This is powerful proof of God’s goodness and love for man. If God had not endowed us with all the noble qualities of His divine nature, do you think He would 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.

As we come closer to the culmination of Lent, let us give time to reflect on the pains and shameful death that our Lord Jesus endured to redeem us from the original sin of our first parents. If Jesus could sacrifice so much for our eternal salvation, can’t we in turn accord even just a little regard and respect for our fellow human beings? After all, as Jesus pointed out, we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Lord God, forgive us whenever we forget that ‘You have made us a little less than Your angels in heaven.’ The goodness in us comes from You, but the sins that we commit are ours alone. We can’t thank You enough for redeeming us from sin. Amen.

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