Friday, August 20, 2010

Jesus: Image of the Invisible God

"He is the image of the invisible God... ." Colossians 1:15

Who is Jesus? According to the apostle Paul, Jesus is the image of the invisible God. But what does that mean? The word Paul used was εικων which means "image, likeness; form, appearance."1 In the Greek language, it was used to describe "the emperor's head on a coin" or "an image of a god."1 For those who first read Paul's letter to the Colossians, they would have understood this completely. Just as the picture on the coin showed them what the emperor looked like, so Jesus revealed to men who God the Father is. He did this so well, that he could say "whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

Think about the religious misunderstandings circulating in Israel at the time. People were under the impression that doing was everything. So many laws had been added to the Bible that people must have had a strange understanding of who God was. When Jesus arrived on the scene, suddenly people saw something different. As God, he revealed to them who God is and what God really wanted them to know. He spoke of sin, righteousness, judgment, love, joy, and hope. Finally, the people knew the truth because they were hearing it from God himself.

Do you want to know God? Look no further than Jesus because he is the exact representation of the Father. Start by reading the Gospels and learn from his words, thoughts, and actions; you will soon understand who God really is.

1Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), 222.

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