The bible is full of the most amazing statements that would take an eternity to unpack. I guess that is the nature of any statements about God which by nature go way beyond our understanding. Today we look at an amazing mystery in just 5 words.
The first word ‘image’ could mean quite a few things in English so let’s see what the original Greek word actually means. The word is ‘Eikon’ which has no direct translation into English, the closest being ‘image’
A Greek dictionary will define the term as ‘mirror-like representation’ referring to what is very close in resemblance, something that exactly reflects its source (what it directly corresponds to). It assumes a prototype, of which it not merely resembles, but from which it is drawn. It is more than a “shadow”; rather it is a replication. It is the same word used in 2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
So Jesus then is more than a vague representation of God, someone who resembles Him like a child resembles a parent. He is the exact representation. Jesus has all the qualities that God the father has in complete measure; His righteousness, justice, purity and love. He doesn’t have them to a lesser degree as a cheap copy, He has them fully.
There are other clues and images of God in things such as creation
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:20)
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
Also created man reflects His image:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26)
With it (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. (James 3:9)
The examples of creation and mankind give an idea, an impression, but only Jesus reflects Gods image perfectly.
So why does He need to represent the other two members of the trinity? Because they are invisible. Jesus is the only one who can be seen. It would be very difficult for mankind to grasp all these qualities of God through some abstract concept. God made it easy for us to understand what He is like. Jesus came into the world and represented God in His very essence. Jesus said in John 14:9
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father
And also in Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.
It is an amazing thought that by following Jesus we are being changed into His image, we are being shaped into the very image of God.