Recently I had a chance to visit with Nate, a young man who used to travel with me and run my sound system when I went out to preach, sing, and do ventriloquism. We were reminiscing about some of the things that used to happen when we were "on the road" together, and we recalled that it was not uncommon for people to say to Nate, "We sure do appreciate you and your dad coming today."
To which Nate would reply, "He's not my dad."
Frankly, I never saw much resemblance between us, and since I was only thirteen years older than him, I found it a bit disconcerting that people would think I was old enough to be his dad.
The day after I visited with Nate, day I took my nephew Daniel to a basketball game that our local Christian academy was competing in. During the half-time break, I took Daniel to the concessions stand, so Daniel could buy a cheeseburger. When the lady behind the counter gave us our food, she said, "Here's your cheeseburger, and here's your dad's french fries."
Once again, I don't think there's that much resemblance. But those two back-to-back events started me thinking about family resemblances. Do you look like your father? Your mother? What about your brothers or sisters? Do your children look like you?
Did you know that the Bible has something to say about family resemblance? It's true!
Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God," and "the firstborn of all creation." Think about that for a moment. God is Spirit, and as such, we cannot see him. But when Jesus Christ came to earth, he came as a man with a physical body. So what does it mean that Jesus is the "image of the invisible God"? That he physically looks like God the Father? Of course not! There is a "family resemblance" between God the Father and God the Son, but it is not a physical resemblance.
When Jesus came to earth, it was so we could see and understand the character of God. When we look at Jesus, when we read of His life, His deeds, and His sacrifice, we are seeing the character of God being lived out perfectly.
But that's not the only thing that the Bible says about family relationships. In 2 Corinthians we are told:
Nice little progression, isn't it? Jesus is the likeness of the invisible God, and we are to be transformed into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. In other words, when people look at us, they ought to be able to see our family resemblance to God Himself!
What do you think? Is your character like the character of God? Or does it leave a lot to be desired? How does your character change to be more like His? Well, the answer is right in the verse: we behold the glory of the Lord. How much time do you spend looking on Jesus Christ, through reading of Him in God's Word? Take time each day to read of Him, and allow yourself to be transformed more and more into His image.