Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [Matthew 5:8 ESV]
How is it possible for people to know something is true when confronted by verifiable evidence yet suggest or even demand it not be true. “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up” is a statement and motivation of utter ignorance and laziness. Jesus healed people yet the Pharisees were more concerned about a possible Sabbath law violation than with the one healed. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Instead of marveling at what Jesus did they determined to kill Him because He was drawing people away from them.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [John 11:47-48 ESV]
Later, they also decided to murder Lazarus because his life was direct evidence of Jesus’ authority over death and was drawing many to the man they hated. This faulty reasoning is undeniable confirmation of the corrupted nature of man. We think since man is bent by sin so is the image of God in man. We are looking for something specific, based upon our assumptions and expectations, unable to see the obvious. Once my family picked me up at a train station yet I did not immediately see them because they were in a car I was not expecting. Though standing only a few feet away I was looking for a car not a person and completely missed them for a long enough time for embarrassment.
People have the image of God as an essential part of their being. This image gives them all of the tools needed to come to correct conclusions when confronted with undeniable evidence. I am going to step out onto a limb. I am beginning to believe that, though man is corrupted by sin, the absolute image of God in man is not degraded. This does not mean we are capable of thinking as God would want. Nor, does this mean we can trust our emotions. We still filter the evidence through our bent and twisted sin nature. We make the evidence say what we want it to say. We have the tools needed but decide, through the compulsion of sin, to draw and believe a lie. Does our broken nature mean the image of God in us is also broken?
Does not Scripture say we are incapable of intimately knowing Him or willfully obeying Him? It does. Do we not forcefully rebel and fight against Him? With every ounce and fiber of our being! We not only can’t do and be what He wants but actively strive against Him to be everything He doesn’t want. Do we have so much control over our selves we can corrupt that which God has created? If the image of God in us is as corrupted as we then nothing has changed. We are still accountable to Him for our sin and rebellion.
Let us suppose the image of God in us is not corrupted though we obviously are, though the vessel is broken and tarnished beyond remedy. Would not His image draw us to Him? And would not our defiled nature war against this attraction to its Creator? We are the undeniable evidence of God’s work and love.