The Image Of The Invisible God
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15, NKJV)
God strictly commanded Israel not to make carved images to bow down before and serve (Exo. 20:4-5). Through Moses, God explained He did not show them any form or image when He spoke from Mt. Sinai, lest they make carved images and worship them (Deut. 4:15-18). Humans have frequently changed God’s incorruptible glory “into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:23).
God gave us an image of Himself when He sent His Son to the world. Just as a coin bore Caesar’s image (whom most had never personally seen, Mk. 12:16), Jesus is the image of the invisible God (whom none of us have seen).
Jesus is the image of the character and will of God. He is not the image of the Father’s physical features and fleshly appearance (like face, hair, eyes, etc.), since God is Spirit (Jn. 4:24).
Jesus is the image (likeness) of the Father in moral character, attitudes, motives, thoughts, words, and actions. This is why Jesus could say, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Not understanding, Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” To which Jesus answered, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen men has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’” (Jn. 14:7-9).
To know God, we must learn about and know Jesus. To go to God, we must follow Jesus (Jn. 14:6).
Joe R. Price