What Would You Like to Change?
Maybe you’d choose to change your appearance, or find a partner, or have better-behaved children. Perhaps you’re seeking one more step up the career ladder, or maybe just to get onto a career ladder. Maybe you’d like to be more confident and witty, or maybe less angry or depressed, or less controlled by your emotions.
We all want to change in some way. Some of these changes are good, others not so good. But the problem with all of them is that they’re not ambitious enough. God offers us something more — much, much more!
Broken Image Bearers
In the opening chapter of the Bible we read, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1:27). We were made to be God’s image on earth: to know him, to share his rule over the world, to reflect his glory.
The problem is that this is now a broken image because humanity has rejected God. So we try to live our lives our way, and we make a mess of things. We struggle to be God’s image on earth. We no longer reflect his glory as we should. God’s verdict on humanity is: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
We’ve failed to be the image of God we were made to be. We can’t be the people we want to be, let alone the people we ought to be.
God’s Agenda for Change
Enter Jesus, “the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4):
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15) He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. (Hebrews 1:3) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus shows us God’s agenda for change. God isn’t interested in making us religious.
Think of Jesus, who was hated by religious people. God isn’t interested in making us spiritual if by spiritual we mean detached. Jesus was God getting involved with us. God isn’t interested in making us self-absorbed: Jesus was self-giving personified. God isn’t interested in serenity: Jesus was passionate for God, angry at sin, weeping for the city. The word holy means “set apart” or “consecrated.” For Jesus, holiness meant being set apart from, or different from, our sinful ways. It didn’t mean being set apart from the world, but being consecrated to God in the world. He was God’s glory in and for the world.
Jesus is the perfect person, the true image of God, the glory of the Father. And God’s agenda for change is for us to become like Jesus.