Made in God's Image

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Genesis 1:26-27

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (v. 27)

Only of humans is it said that they are made in God’s image. Among all God’s creatures we humans are unique in being image-bearers of God. Over the years many theories have been proposed as to what this means, most of them not true to the text. And, sadly, we have often taken our being made in God’s image as reason to exploit those creatures which are not. We have assumed that to be made in God’s image is a privilege rather than responsibility.

But being an image-bearer, in ancient times, meant to be the representative of the ruler, the vice-regent of the king. Image-bearing is not something you have but something you do. In short, to be made in God’s image means to rule as God would rule. So how does God rule? He rules with justice and love and grace. Yes, we humans are unique, but being God’s image-bearers is not about privilege but about service. We are called to mirror no less than the King of creation, for the sake of a flourishing earth.


O God, King of creation, enable us by your Spirit to mirror you. Fill us with your wisdom and justice and compassion that we may do the things that make for shalom.