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2307 Image and image-bearer

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Gen 1:26 ESV

God made man, unlike the animals, “in his image”. It means that we take after God, in certain ways! Think, for example, of the fact that man is self-conscious, rational and creative, that he has a free will. In this verse the emphasis is specifically on the fact that man represents God in the world. Man acts on behalf of the Creator on earth, he rules over all of creation – but under God. The moral implication of being made in God’s image is enormous, though. It means that the person next to me – on the street, at work, in the shops – also carries God’s image, also represents him. It means that everyone has high value! It means I must change my behaviour towards people, even towards strangers and enemies. It means I may ONLY treat others with respect. To offend the image-bearer is to offend the One whose image he bears.

Wonderful Creator, thank you for considering me valuable. Help me to treat others only with the greatest respect. Amen.

See people as image-bearers of God!

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