So how do we attain to the likeness of God who is so vast and unknowable?
His people in Israel struggled at this impossible task for centuries, but who could know the mind of God? How are we to be Priests and Kings? As sons of God, we have a mighty calling and yet it seems so far from everything experience has taught us. God knew this, and so Jesus came. He perfectly modeled the likeness of God, although He came as a mortal man.
He had to struggle through the same things you do in order to grow into the fullness of the likeness of God. This perfection came through suffering. And although He could accomplish it because He was not of the Seed of Man, it was still a human process that He had to perfect in order to accomplish everything He did while modeling for us the perfect human life to be lived in this broken world.
God has made us to be sons, both King and Priest, after His firstborn with all rights and responsibilities that entails. We can see this in His Word, and yet do you see the full expression of this in your life? This is because we still reside in a broken world; we represent a spiritual Kingdom to this world and we too often view ourselves from this broken worldly perspective. Look at our High Priest and King of Kings. He came as the lowly suffering servant in His first appearance on earth. When He explained leadership, He washed the feet of His disciples. Let’s look at this…
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God…” (John 13:3)
It’s interesting that John started the story of the foot washing with the fact that Jesus knew that God had given all things to Him and that He was from God and going back to God. He understood the incredible humiliation involved in washing another’s feet and he surely felt that humiliation as the human that He was at that time. But He also clearly understood that He was Lord over all and that His Father loves and rules very differently than man does. That God lifts up, instead of pressing down. He was able to see His life for who He was in eternity, even though He was not experiencing that existence in His human form, and so He was able to put aside all humiliation and suffering in order to powerfully teach and impact those in His charge. He counted this shame as nothing because He had this expanded, perfect view of Himself and reality. He knew, by faith, that God had made Him High Priest and King and so He operated in that role by loving, lifting up, and serving those God the Father showed Him, so that the Father’s will could be made complete in their lives. He did all this while eschewing any earthly prestige or position. He had knowledge of His true position in eternity, and so as John shows us above, He was able to humble Himself of any such position to carry out the will of the Father.
We’ll continue this train of thought tomorrow…
This post is _Part 5_ in a series on God’s image and likeness. To continue with this series, click on Part 6. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series and then read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
Photo credit: mountainwoman