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Image Bearers Not Understuddies

Dear Church Family,

Growing up my family acted at Theater West Virginia, and for every role there is a main actor and then an understudy. If the actor or actress who usually plays the role cannot go on for one reason or another there is an understudy who knows the lines and blocking so the show goes on no matter what. Sometimes Christians believe they are God’s understudy, standing in for Him making judgement calls and ensuring the show goes on. Is this really what we see Jesus calling us to do?

Over the past few weeks we’ve been studying John chapter 5, and in it Jesus says some startling things. In response to the protest of the religious leaders who berated His sabbath work. Jesus says He is equal with God in ability, authority, and glory. A prophet had not spoken in some 400 years, it appeared God was silent, cue the understudies. The religious leaders of Jesus his day started acting like understudies rather than image bearers. They were bothered that He healed someone on the sabbath. They believed it was their place to make judgement calls to ensure the way they had done things kept going as they wanted. Yet, this was not God’s design for his people. Our goal is not to study the scriptures so that we might enforce them. We are not police we are reflections.

We come to the word looking for Jesus, not for ways to prove ourselves or others. What stood out to me is what Jesus says in John 5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” Maybe the leaders really believed they were being image bearers, but they failed to look to scripture as a biography of God rather than a rule book. Calling to repentance is part of this reflections, but grace is the necessary opposite side of the coin.

God does not call you to be God, but to know and so reflect Him. Do you know Him? Do you love Him? Does His love abide in you? (John 5:42)

We love you, we’re praying for you, and we hope you have a wonderful Monday morning!


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