The Image of the Invisible God

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (Colossians 1:15, KJV)

Paul reveals Jesus as the image of the invisible God. What does this signify, and crucially, what does it mean for us today?

The term ‘image’ (Greek: eikon) implies a visual representation of God, starkly contrasting God’s invisibility. To grasp this, consider how idols in idolatry symbolize unseen gods. Idolatry is a counterfeit of God’s design to have His image on earth. Unlike idolatry, God’s earthly image isn’t of stone, wood, silver, or gold but a human being—crafted to represent God’s heavenly essence visually.

The assertion that Jesus is God’s image unfolds layers of meaning. Firstly, not what the verse did not say:  it’s not the Word of God but Jesus the Man identified as God’s image.

Secondly, while humanity is created in God’s image, Jesus holds a distinct status. One might assume Colossians 1:15 echoes the idea of humanity as God’s image (Genesis 1:26), yet it unveils a more potent truth. How does Jesus, as God’s image, compare to humanity created in God’s likeness? Hebrews 1:3 provides insight,

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” 

Jesus isn’t merely an image; He is the express image, the precise imprint of God’s Person. He isn’t a non-divine representation of God on earth, but God Himself who became a Human Being(John 1:4). So man was created in God’s image, but the Man Jesus is the express image of the Father. Furthermore, here is a crucial truth: Jesus was Jewish, but not His Jewishness revealed the image of the Father. It was His humanity, and He could have been Jewish, black, Indian, or Chinese, and it would not have changed the truth. 

The ramifications of this profound truth are boundless. To vividly comprehend how God reacts to sinners approaching Him, examine Jesus’ life and His heart for sinners. To understand God’s stance on healing,  look at Jesus’ life and ministry ( Matt. 8:1-3). The Gospels are a movie script of God Himself living on the earth. Jesus, indeed, is the expressed image of the invisible God.

Meditate

Reflect on Col. 1:15 in light of the above devotional.

Apply the Word

Behold Jesus’ face (or person), and you’ll glimpse the face of the Father! (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Pray

Seek the Spirit’s guidance to discern the Father in Jesus.

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