The Icon of God

David Landegent

READ : John 14:8-11

[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15)

Most of us never see the complex codes behind the computer programs we use. Instead we see simple, visible icons on the screen that provide us with access to the programs. When we double-click on the icon of a document, for instance, the invisible code goes into operation, and we can then read and change the document.

The word icon comes from the Greek word eikon, which is what Paul uses here to describe Jesus as the “image” (or icon) of God. Like a computer icon, Jesus is the visible form of the God who is normally hidden. As Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In addition, as the icon of God, Jesus provides us with access to this invisible God (Eph. 2:18).

There is, however, a key difference between Jesus and a computer icon. Icons on the screen are merely symbols that allow users to control and manipulate programs to get their desired results. But Jesus is not an impersonal symbol for us to use; rather, he is the personal image of the great and glorious God. Jesus does not give us access to God so that we can bend God to our will; instead, he gives us access so that we can receive such gracious love from God that we line up with his will. As we gaze on Jesus, the icon of God, it is we who will be changed.


Lord Jesus, true image of God, change us into your image more each day.