Living in the Image of God Module 01 Session 01
God creates every person as channel for his interactions with others. He can interact with a person directly but often chooses to channel his interaction through other people. We discuss Peter-Cornelius meeting to draw examples of direct interaction with God and the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of God directing human assistance through another person to a person in need. He creates every person with opportunities and capabilities to function as his representative among other people, will call a person to represent him at a point of need, and another person if a call recipient declines.
God can interact directly with a person: through a vision, through the Holy Spirit, or through other manifestations of his presence. Also, he can and often interacts with a person indirectly through other people. He chooses any person as channel for his interactions with others. He often offers the opportunity to a person by placing a need in his/her path. If the person declines, like the priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, God offers the opportunity to another person he chooses. We discuss examples from Peter-Cornelius interactions where God shows he has several options to interact directly with a person. Furthermore, we discuss the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of God choosing a person to care for another person on his behalf.
Direct Interaction by Vision
As an example of direct interaction by vision, we recall the vision that God used to prepare Apostle Peter for a meeting with Cornelius (more information: God Does Not Show Favoritism: Peter Visits Cornelius). He wanted Peter to understand that the message of the Gospel is for all: Jews and Gentiles alike. He communicated the understanding to Peter in a vision: “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” [Acts 10:15].
Direct Interaction through the Holy Spirit
As an example of direct interaction through the Holy Spirit, we recall the Holy Spirit alerted Peter to the arrival of the messengers from Cornelius. The Holy Spirit instructed Peter to receive them well and accept their invitation: “Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them” [Acts 10:20].
Direct Interaction through other Manifestation
As an example of direct interaction through other manifestations of God, we recall God sent an angel to Cornelius that told him to invite Peter to his house. The angel came to Cornelius clearly as an angel. Cornelius understood he was in the presence of an angel of God and interacted with the angel based on the understanding. The angel showed he was there for a specific purpose. He delivered the message and left: “Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter” [Acts 10:5].
Indirect Interaction through another Person
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, God directed human assistance to a man beaten to near-death by robbers (more information: Love through Compassion—Parable of the Good Samaritan). He calls on a person to represent him among others by placing a need in his/her path and heart. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, he called on a priest, then a Levite, and a Samaritan. The priest declined the call. So did the Levite. The Samaritan accepted: he recognized the need and did what he could to alleviate the need. He provided needed assistance to the victim. God will offer opportunity to any person to represent him among others. If the person declines, he will call another person of his choosing.
Summary of What We Learned
God creates every person as channel for his interactions with others. He can interact with a person directly but often chooses to channel his interaction through other people. We discussed the meeting between Peter and Cornelius to see examples of God interacting with a person directly. Also, we discussed the Parable of the Good Samaritan as an illustration of God interacting with a person through another. He creates every person to represent him among others, as a channel for his interactions in human form with other people.
Study guide available: Link to Study Guide