Idols of the mind

“… He who has seen Me has seen the Father …”

— John 14:9

There are many idolaters among us today. We may not carve gods from wood or stone, but we often shape an idol in our mind—a cheapened image of God. We carve God up until we’ve whittled Him down to our own liking. Then we bow down and worship the image we’ve made. We deceive ourselves into thinking we’re worshiping the true God when we’re doing nothing of the kind.

We need to throw away our limited understanding of God and seek out His true nature. How can we do this? By looking to Jesus Christ. The New Testament declares that Jesus Christ is the exact image of the invisible God. In all of His attributes—His mercy, purity, sinlessness, grace, love, holiness, and righteousness—Jesus Christ reflects God’s image because Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Only by examining Jesus Christ can we ever discover what God is like.

Michelangelo once found a great slab of marble so large that no one else would use it. He had a specific purpose for this marble. Before he began his work, Michelangelo built a shed around the marble so that no one could see it. For months he worked, allowing no one to view his progress. Finally, it was completed, and Michelangelo unveiled his great statue of David. Why didn’t he allow anyone to see it before completion? Because he didn’t want people forming wrong ideas about it until it had reached perfection.

In the same way, God in Old Testament times forbade humans to make any image of Himself because their view of Him was incomplete. Finally, in the fullness of time, God revealed the exact and perfect image of His own nature in the person of Jesus Christ.

“Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ
and the founders of empires and the gods of other
religions. That resemblance does not exist.”