In the Image of God: Male and Female He Created Them

If Jehovah chose to be invisible in this Universe, where then is Creation to glimpse Him? It cannot read a Bible, so how then can it have a chance to “see” its Maker?

For a modern culture where there is no sense of purpose or value to human existence, the Creator has made a powerful yet simple statement as He shaped and gave Life to humanity: “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;’ … so God created man in His image; in ‘the Image of God’ He created him; male and female He created them” [Genesis 1:26-27].

What an enormous privilege this is, as well as a serious responsibility! Just as a child first learns about God, grace, mercy, forgiveness and Steadfast Love, not in a church but at the cradle, in the experience of his mother and father, so also in the hands of human beings is the revelation of the Creator to Creation. It is astonishing that Jehovah is so serious about this that there are many things He will not do in this cosmos except by the hands of humans. If humans don’t do it, neither the angels nor even God Himself will do it. Humans must feed the hungry, humans must clothe the naked, humans must protect the environment, humans must share the Gospel.

Even after humanity sinned, God never backed down on this extraordinary importance placed on mankind. His determination is that we are to be partners in His work – no other creature will suffice. We are to have the pleasure and the enjoyment of His accomplishments through us. His victories are our victories, our defeats are His defeats. He is that serious about humans being His reflection in this Universe.
But His statement of purpose for humanity goes even farther. It is very specific, “male and female He created them.” Male, female, masculine, feminine – these are not accretions from evolution, nor are they traditions formulated by culture. Instead, they are ways in which God deliberately, specifically and uniquely demonstrates Himself to the Cosmos.

This is a “binocular” view of God. Just as with our eyes; each is perfectly capable to see on its own, yet because of both of them, there is an aspect to our vision otherwise not available to us – we now can see depth, we now can see in “3-D” (three dimensions). Male and female are very capable on their own, and yet each is distinctively and purposely different in order to give God a depth otherwise not available – a “3-D” vision of God.

The fall into sin and humanity itself has terribly distorted what the two genders are about, and it is no easy task to discover the plan which God put into motion as He specifically and purposefully created the man, and specifically and purposefully created the woman. For the human, the genders’ first task is not procreation but rather “the Image of God.” Only then procreation takes its place as a reflection of the creativity of the One Whom they reflect.

Within the context of “the Image of God,” how then are we to understand such things as “helper fitting for him,” submission, headship, and a number of other things at which we so easily take offense? Yet these are necessary questions if we are to truly be “the Image” which God declares us to be!

What is surprising is when St Paul in Ephesians 5 compares a human marriage to the relationship of Jesus and His Church, repeats the Genesis 2:23 and 24 verses [verses 30-31], and then declares the “great mystery” that the verses from Genesis are a prophecy of Jesus and His Church [verse 32]. Genesis 2, then, has to be seen in light of Jesus. It is about Him when God declares, “it is not good that the Man be alone” [Genesis 2:18] – and since heaven is described as a marriage feast, it is also the description of the relationship between Him and His Wife throughout eternity.

“Male and female” is no mere child’s game of one-upmanship on each other, but rather a very profound description of an eternal purpose placed upon each man and each woman, on humanity, and on the Bride of Christ. Therefore it is time for us to give this total subject the respect and thoughtful consideration to which it is due.