Summary: Christ makes himself known as a creative Modeler... and we (individuals and His Church) are the modeled.

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Title: The Modeler and the Modeled

Text: I Corinthians 12:1-11

Thesis: Christ makes himself known as a creative Modeler… and we are the modeled.


Michael Chesko describes himself as an eccentric mix of engineer, model maker, unofficial cartographer, and most of all, artist. When he was a little boy living in Arizona he would make maps of fictitious landscapes of places like Arizona and then he started to model cities. He would literally fill a room in their home with a scale model city.

Chesko is an eccentric. He sees skyscrapers almost as living things which continue to mold the people who frequent the buildings’ neighborhoods.

In 2008 Michael Chesko unveiled his miniature replica of midtown Manhattan. He used balsa, wood, xacto blades, and fingernail files to create the miniature midtown Manhattan. He based his miniature using a scale of 3/8” equals 100 feet. He hand-carved each piece of the city using blueprints, photographs, digital reproductions, and satellite images. It took Chesko 2000 hours to complete this replica.

Project Midtown Manhattan Photograph

They say that if his model of Midtown Manhattan were full-sized it would be within 5’ of the actual building modeled. (James Woodman, downtown express, Volume 21, Number 8, The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan, July 4 – July 10, 2008)

Businesses like Hobby Lobby have aisles in their stores dedicated to modelers. Serious modelers may create elaborate model train layouts or miniature solar systems. When I Googled “modelers” I was immediately taken to the Modeler’s Annual Magazine website where I saw extraordinary scale model replicas of an abandoned caboose, a dilapidated brick building, a rusty 1957 Chevy hardtop, an outhouse and an antique Fordson Tractor project. (

There are as many kinds of models are there are modeling interests. Every model is a reflection of the one who modeled it. And it is noteworthy that God reveals himself in Scripture as a modeler as well.

I. God is a Modeler, we [people]are being modeled

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “He did not make me?” Can the pot say to the potter, “He knows nothing? “ Isaiah 29:16

If God is a modeler and we are to understand ourselves as the work of the one who modeled us, then we must be a reflection of the God and what interests and intrigues God.

In Genesis 1 God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… “So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

In the second account of creation we see that God “formed” the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

On January 26 sixteen teams from nine countries will arrive in Breckenridge, CO where they will spend the next five days creating stunningly beautiful ice sculptures from 12 feet tall / 20 ton blocks of machine made Colorado snow. Then on January 31 the River Walk Center will be open the following week for public viewing.

Whether it is a team of professional sculptors working over a 20 ton block of snow or a little boy rolling up balls in the front yard to make a snow man… it is the image of molders shaping and forming their subjects. Such is the image of God we see in Genesis of God kneeling down and forming a man from the dust of the earth.

The image of God in Isaiah 29:16, Isaiah 43, Jeremiah 18 and Romans 9 is that of a potter working with a lump of clay, forming it and molding it and modeling it into the person he wants it to be. And the shaping is not just about the shaping of a form… it is about the formation of a person.

The same way God is the shaper and molder of individuals, God is also about shaping and modeling the Body of Christ or the Church.

II. God is the Modeler, the body of Christ [the Church] is being modeled

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. I Corinthians 12:11 (1-11)

In I Corinthians 12:12, the body of Christ is depicted as a unit or a body made up of many parts. It says that though there are many parts, they form one body.

If we think Michael Chesko’s painstaking attention to detail in modeling Midtown Manhattan is a work of art… think of the intricacies of forming a real, working model person. Then think of what is implied when we think of God expressing himself through the formation of the Body of Christ or the Church of Jesus Christ. Each and every detail carefully created and purposefully placed to complete the whole body.

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