Our College and Career Class is making its way through Colossians. As we learned, the church in Colossae was a bit of a mess. They had divided themselves over things such as food, festivals, angel worship, race, culture, and economic lines (Colossians 3:11).
Paul’s instruction to them was to set aside all of these differences in order to maintain unity. One way for them to do so was to “…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (v.10).
“Image” in the verse above comes from the Greek word icon, meaning an exact replica. For replicas to be made there must first be a prototype to be copied, correct? As Paul says, Jesus is that prototype – and we are to bear a striking resemblance to Him.
Today, the most common meaning of icon is a small button on a computer screen that, when selected, opens a huge software program (an app) that lies behind it. When you engage the icon, the app takes over. Similarly, when people engage us (the icon/replica) what should open for them is the much larger, much more significant “Jesus app” (the prototype)! As we conform more and more to our prototype, we begin to think like Him, speak like Him, and act like Him. We represent Him more and more when others engage with us.
Since our lives are hidden in Christ (v.3), we should be willing to fade a bit into the background so that Jesus can be more readily seen. As He becomes more, and we become less, unity within the church is strengthened.
How about it – are you an icon for Christ? When your life is opened up for others to look inside, do they see Jesus operating there? –Dave
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