The British writer C S Lewis once wrote: “There are no ordinary people.” He was reflecting an insight that goes as far back as the first pages of the Bible. In Genesis 1:26-28, God tells us that every human being is made in His image. No matter how many of us there might be, none of us is ordinary.
To appreciate why, consider what being made “in the image of God” meant in the ancient world of the Old Testament. For the nations surrounding Israel the privilege of bearing the divine image was reserved for the elites: the kings, the queens, the powerful. In Egypt, it was Pharaoh alone who was in the image of God. This was why Pharaoh possessed the right to rule: to bear the image of God meant you were royalty.
Genesis makes this radical claim: every human being is royalty. We are ALL made in God’s image – men, women, children, elderly, black, brown, or white. There are no ordinary people.
And this is the foundation for justice. Because each and every person bears God’s image, God’s people have always been obligated to love friend and stranger, rich and poor, enabling all people to flourish in body and soul. And that basic insight has had a transformative impact on world history.
Reflection and Response:
1. Which people in your life are you tempted to see as merely “ordinary”?
2. As you pray today, ask God to give you eyes to see those “ordinary” people as his royal image-bearers. Ask God to give you a heart that honours the dignity God has bestowed on all human beings.
3. Watch the video below on the "Image of God"