If you were to give the human race marks out of ten, what score would you give to our species? If you watch or read the news a lot, you may be inclined to give us a fairly low score. God would disagree with you. Indeed, the writers of Genesis were keen to remind us that when God saw what kind of a job he had done in creating the human race, he was very pleased with the outcome. Surely that warrants a high score?
There is a strand of Christian teaching which replies: ‘Yes, but then it all went horribly wrong because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit!’ Don’t be so hasty! God knew what Adam and Eve were like. He had made them, after all. He put that tree, laden with forbidden fruit, right in the middle of their garden, knowing that it looked very appealing to his new creation. It was a test; a choice; a decision which God offered us, that had both positive and negative consequences. We chose to take the knowledge of good and evil, and that has affected the path of human history ever since. But it doesn’t stop the human race from being awesome. And it doesn’t stop God from loving his handiwork.
Jesus told Nicodemus that the very reason why God gave his own son to the tool-making inhabitants of Planet Earth was that he loves us so much. We still get a high score from God.
It has become common practice for us to look down our collective nose at our own species. So let’s pause and take in a different perspective - God’s perspective. Human beings are wonderful creatures, made - in some significant way - in the pattern of God himself. We humans are awesome, and well worth loving. In God’s mind, even those people who you find very irritating are well eminently lovable.