You’ve seen the logo. No matter your age or interests, most likely you recognize the Michael “Air” Jordan logo. It is Nike’s goose that laid the golden egg.

Created in 1985, it is officially known as the “Jumpman” logo. For years it exclusively branded a line of “Air Jordan” basketball shoes and apparel. Today, however, the logo touches everything for Nike. Baseball players wear Jordan cleats. Football players even have Jordan armbands.

The crazy thing is that Jordan hasn’t played basketball in over 9 years! Yet, preschoolers (who will never see him play unless its on ESPN Classic) all want to wear his gear –now that’s a powerful image!

It’s been said that “Image is everything.” Nike’s Jumpman logo supports that statement. But why is “image” so important?

Ultimately, “image” is not something that marketing firms and ad agencies invented. Its actually a part of God’s design for humans.

Why would God create us to be obsessed with image? Check out Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image.”

Of course this does not mean we are made to be gods, but rather, we were created to reflect God’s image to the world. We are designed to project His image as a means to exalt him throughout the earth.

One of the implications of this design means that we imitate what we worship. That’s why everyone want’s to wear Michael Jordan branded apparel. We desperately want to identify with him. Nike even ran an ad campaign with a catchy jingle –“I wanna be like Mike.”

Now other retailers have picked up on the power of Jordan’s image. Duracell batteries, Gatorade, Ballpark Hot Dogs, and Haynes have all hired him to endorse their products. And yes, there really are men out there who believe that they could do a reverse-360-slam-dunk if they just bought some Haynes underwear!

Image is a powerful thing. So if we imitate what we worship, it should follow that we imitate God. That’s why we were created in His image. For example, when we display mercy to a co-worker who has stabbed us in the back; the world sees a reflection of God’s mercy toward sinners. And as we forgive the friend who has betrayed our trust one more time, we display the patient and long-suffering love of God toward us.

We live out a lifestyle of worship by reflecting God’s image. And that image is not just meant for us to enjoy –it is meant to cover the earth!

And that’s what part 2 will look at tomorrow.

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