Bedrock truths of the Bible

By Dave Henning / September 3, 2023

“Behind Jesus’s parable [of the Good Samaritan] is one of the bedrock truths of the Bible, namely, that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). . . .  It is clear that this makes every human being of value and worth.”- Timothy Keller

” ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’  The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’  Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ “- Luke 15:36-37 (NIV)

In Chapter 11 (“The Relationship to God’s World”) of The Prodigal Prophet, Timothy Keller reiterates one of the main concerns of the book of Jonah.  Namely, that believers need to respect and love their neighbors.  Including those of a different race and nationality.

Hence, the Bible uses Jonah as a bad example and the Samaritan as a good example to answer several questions about a believer’s social relationships.

1.  Who is my neighbor?  Citing Jesus’ response to the expert in the law, Pastor Keller underscores that Jesus also tells us, in the strongest terms that everyone is our neighbor.

2.  How should I regard my neighbor?  Jesus makes the Samaritan the hero of the story.  Hence, Jesus sends this clear message.  That God gifts moral goodness, wisdom, and love to all people, races, and classes.

3.  What does it mean to love my neighbor?  In the parable, Jesus depicts the Samaritan meeting the most practical, physical, material, and economic needs.  Above all, meeting these needs constitutes the common good. Furthermore, in the case of the Samaritan, he took extravagant action.

In conclusion, Pastor Keller underscores, John Calvin drew remarkable conclusion from the doctrine of imago Dei.  Therefore, Calvin stresses that even those who deserve nothing but contempt should be treated as if the were the Lord himself.  Because His image is upon them all.

Today’s question: How do you see creation in the image of God as one of the bedrock truths of the Bible?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Apolitical Christians?”

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Dave Henning

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