The Reading: Genesis 1:26-31
“… male and female he created them.” (v.27) RSV
The image of God is most perfectly expressed in the one particular individual, Jesus Christ. Indeed, we have been seeing that God could/should be revealed through any individual that he has made.
However, God is normally best expressed in the combination of male and female. God is neither male nor female, for he is spirit. However, within the Godhead reside what we would call male and female attributes. This disparate nature is best revealed on earth in the combination of men and women. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (v.27). Although the man Jesus fully exemplified God his Father, the image is normally best expressed through the human race, male and female, rather than through an individual.
And the highest image of God is found in the union of men and women. This takes place in communities, in churches, in business, but most particularly in marriage. The love between husband and wife reveals that love that God has for his people. Also, the respective strengths of male and female demonstrate the leadership, submission, tenderness, toughness, vision, prudence, etc, etc, of almighty God.
Neither male nor female are superior to the other. They may have different roles, but in the eyes of God they are of equal value. Of course this does not mean they are interchangeable. Each should be allowed to develop their gifts for the glory of God (not just for their own fulfilment). We will not be an image of God if we push forward our own will and our own self-fulfilment. Whether man or woman, our pleasure is to please our Lord; that will lead us to fulfilment. We will become what we were intended to be.
Thank you Lord that whether I am a man or a woman, whether married or not, I can be part of showing the world something of your nature. Amen.
1 What does Paul say about the equal value of all people?
2 Jesus is the image of God and we are the image of Christ