A young preacher was shaking hands with the members as they filed out at the close of the worship service. One lady came up and told him, “Young man, you are a model preacher.” He felt really good about this. But his self-esteem and preacher’s pride took a serious hit when he got home and looked in the dictionary under “model” and read this definition: “A small imitation of the real thing.”

What would a model man look like? Mankind as we know and see him (or her) today is a magnificent creature. He possesses faculties and capacities which place him far above all other living creatures. Endowed with free moral choice, man can reason and plan and think and create. He possesses, or is possessed, by a powerful drive to question and learn and explore and discover. He has developed knowledge and skills and technology that have enabled him to accomplish amazing things. He harnesses the power of sun and wind and water to improve life, he has developed brilliant and astonishing medical knowledge and techniques. Communication technology, unheard of a generation ago, now makes possible wireless and instantaneous communication with anyone anywhere on the globe. With a personal computer he can access an almost unlimited amount of information on practically any question or subject thanks to the wonder of the internet. He has been to the moon and now has his eyes on Mars and beyond. He builds roads and bridges and buildings and dams that are breathtaking in scope. He builds cars and planes and trains whose beauty and comfort and efficiency are in tribute to his creative genius. On top of all this he paints and sings and produces magnificent works of art and music and drama that touch and stir the heart and make us laugh and cry and hate and love. No one can deny, man is a magnificent creature.

But man is a small imitation of the real thing God originally created him to be, made in the image of God to have dominion over all creation (Genesis 1-2). Sin marred the model man, and man is unable to fix himself. In spite of intellectual and academic and technological magnificence, war and hatred and crime dominate the headlines. Medical knowledge is used to kill unborn babies. The gift of human sexuality is expressed in ways that pervert the Creator’s plan (adultery, homosexuality, polygamy, etc.). TV and the internet, so capable of positive use, are saturated with vulgarity and pornography. Sexual predators prey on children. People lust, lie, steal, kill, deceive, divorce, grumble, gamble, grab, hate, and get what they want or to get revenge. As a result there is death. Sin has indeed marred man’s magnificence.

Is there no hope to restore man’s glory? With God’s help, there is! “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:9-10).  Jesus is the answer; do you see? – Dan Gulley, Smithville church of Christ, Smithville, TN.

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