The Image of God

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, [Jesus] answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”  (Luke 17:20-21 KJV)

As always Jesus here stated blunt reality, truth that is.  “The Kingdom of God is within you.”  Why within?  Because this is the nature of creation.  Jesus told His people that the seed of the Kingdom dwelt within them.  This is exactly what he told Nicodemus when he approached Jesus.  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3 KJV)  Of course, He did not expect the Pharisee to understand Him.  The Pharisee did not know the circumstances of Jesus’ birth, but we do.  When Nicodemus asked Jesus what He meant by this obscure remark, He  answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8 KJV)

The word translated “born again” here is the Greek word gennao and means “to procreate” or “to conceive.”  Jesus speaks of a spiritual conception here akin to that which His mother, Mary, experienced when the Holy Spirit conceived a child within her.  He speaks of man receiving spiritual seed within himself and conceiving a spiritual being.

Jesus speaks within His prescribed paradigm of reproducing after one’s own kind.  Like all the plants and animals, He created man to have seed within himself and to reproduce after his own kind.  But, he had more than this in mind.   He also created man to be in His image and likeness.  Genesis says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ….  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27 KJV)  Jesus describes here His own actions as Creator God reproducing after His own kind!

In this short dialogue with Nicodemus Jesus reveals at least three profound truths:

  1. A man has to receive the seed of the spirit to even “see” the Kingdom of God.  This means that to even begin to see and understand the principles, truths, and laws of the Kingdom we must have received the seed of God, that is, we must be begotten (born again) of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Once a man receives the seed by the Spirit and sees that it is good, then he must submit to being ”watered” by the Word of God in order to grow, give birth, and bear fruit.
  3. Only then may the man, now a spiritual man, enter the Kingdom of God and become Elohim, a being like God.

This is exactly what John means when he says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2 KJV)

The life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a type of this concept.   The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus within her.  Jesus was born in the flesh and became the Biblical manchild of Mary.  Likewise, when God bestows faith in Himself, Jesus, to us, He begets the seed of the manchild in us.  If we faithfully water that seed by His Word, and obey that Word, then that seed will grow and, according to the laws of creation He implemented, the manchild, Elohim, will eventually be birthed in us.   Like produces like.  God will make us in His image.  This is His stated goal in creation.  God’s will will be done!

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