Who is Jesus? Paul, in Col. 1: 15 says something very amazing about him. This verse says, “He is the image of the invisible God…”
What does it mean for Jesus to be the “image of the invisible God?”
The word translated “image” is very interesting. It means “likeness or resemblance.” Barclay notes that it was also used in Greek for “portrait.” Jesus is not only the representation of God the Father, but also the manifestation of him. Specifically Barclay states, “Jesus is the portrait of God. In him, you see the personal characteristics and the distinguishing marks of God. If you want to see what God is like, look at Jesus.”
When we think of God and the truth that he is invisible and spirit, Jesus when he took on flesh, portrayed God the Father to us in a way that we could understand. Jesus is identical to the Father, that is why he can accurately reveal God to us. He does not reveal what God is like physically, but through taking on flesh, he is able to express the invisible God to us in a way we can see and understand him. When we see Jesus, we see God in action.
Constable gives two quotes that help to show that amazing reality of Jesus being the image of the invisible God. He says,
“The Greek word translated ‘image (eikon),’ … does not imply a weakening or a feeble copy of something. It implies the illumination of its inner core and essence.” (TDNT)
“To call Christ the image of God is to say that in Him the being and nature of God have been perfectly manifested—that in Him the invisible has become visible.” (Bruce)
Have you grasped the significance of this truth? The One who spoke the universe into existence, the One who has made man, has also sent his Son to reveal what he is like to you and me! Jesus is the masterful portrait of God to the world!
Father, what a great reminder of the uniqueness and greatness of your Son Jesus. There is no one like him that has ever lived. He took on flesh to accomplish our redemption but also to reveal to us in a way we could understand, what you are like. He is the magnificent portrait of you.
Thank you for caring enough about us to send your Son to us so that we can be saved from our sin but also so that we might know what you are like and have a relationship with you. May those truths always be fresh to me.
Following Jesus with you,