The Image of God in your Neighbour

Who are you? Someone made in the image of God. Profound.

Not just you. Not a few select ones, but all. Everyone. Your husband/wife, your neighbour, your colleague, your children, your friends, your enemies, the rich and the poor, the educated and uneducated. The talented and the not-so talented. Those on the left and those on the right politically, those you agree with and those you don’t. The young and the old, the weak and the strong – we could go on….. Challenging isn’t it? All made in the image of God. and valuable in his sight. Yes, God puts a value on human life.

The parable of the Good Samaritan told by Jesus contains a powerful and searching message (Luke 10:25-37). It’s about a religious man who wanted to justify himself, and the question arises as to who he should love. Jesus then tells of a man who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho who had been attacked by a gang of thieves and severely beaten,  robbed, and left to die – for them life was cheap, there was no love, no awareness of the image of God, he was simply a being to be used, to be plundered, to get what they wanted and disposed of.

Then at different times two religious people come walking down the road. Two people who should have known better, people who should have know that whoever you are and wherever you come from, no matter your colour or creed, you are made in the image of God, and to be loved. And what do they do? They walk by on the other side.

Then along comes a Samaritan – a Samaritan of all people! Now the Jewish people who should know that all are made in the image of God had little or no time for the Samaritans, mixed race that they were, they were below their dignity – they would walk miles round Samaria rather than go through it. They didn’t want to be contaminated.

Now Jesus says, along comes a Samaritan and he sees this man, this Jew, this despiser of his own people, beaten, robbed and dying and has compassion on him. To the listeners this was shocking. Yes, the very person you’d least expect is the one who sees a fellow human made in the image of God, broken, bruised and dying and he loves him and goes to his aide. He gets down beside him and comes alongside him in his pain; he cleans his wounds with oil and wine which cost him something an awful lot, then he picks him up and puts him on his donkey and gets him to the nearest B & B, pays for him to be looked after and cared for, and promises to pay any extra on his return.

That’s love, that’s seeing a fellow human made in the image of God.

All life has value, all are to be loved.

What are you seeing in those around you?

Are you so taken up with religious duty that you fail to see the need there is in your world?

Are you so taken up with getting from ‘a’ to ‘b’ that you are missing the opportunity to bring God’s heart to someone made in His image?

Too frequently today life is cheap; we need a recovery of the divine image in ourselves and our fellow humanity. We need to see it’s brokenness and be vessels of God’s restoring grace.

 

 

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