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The Relationship between GOD, JESUS CHRIST and MAN

6. Words related to homoios

NOTE: For a few of the verses listed in the following sections, there are manuscripts that use a common synonym for the word "like." It would communicate the same basic message, but perhaps with a little less emphasis on the "likeness" of what is being described. These are noted, when they occur, and can be omitted from the study, if desired.

This word is:

G5613 - ὡς (hōs)

Thayer Definition: 1) as, like, even as, etc.

[6A] G3664 - ὅμοιος (homoios)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) like, similar, resembling

              1a) like: i.e. resembling

              1b) like: i.e. corresponding to a thing

B. Verses with this word


Matthew 11:16; 13:31, 33, 44-45, 47, 52; 20:1; 22:39; Mark 12:31 (KJV & some mss); Luke 6:47-49; 7:31-32; 12:36; 13:18-19, 21; John 8:55; 9:9; Acts 17:29; Galatians 5:21; 1 John 3:2; Jude 1:7; Revelation 1:13, 15; 2:18; 4:3 (2x), 6, 7 (3x); 9:7 (2x), 10, 19; 11:1; 13:2 (2x, most mss.; KJV uses a synonym for one of them), 4, 11; 14:14; 16:13 (most mss use a similar word, instead); 18:18; 21:11, 18

C. Outline


       1.    Misc. things that are like/similar to something else, in appearance or form.

              a.    John 9:9 - The healed man (his opponents claimed) merely looked like the man who was born blind.

              b.    Revelation 1:13; 14:14 - Jesus - one who was "like a son of man."

              c.    Revelation 1:15; 2:18 - Jesus' feet - looked like glowing bronze in furnace.

              d.    Revelation 4:3 (2x), 6, 7 (3x) - Various things surrounding (or on) God's throne... what they were like or what they resembled.

              e.    Revelation 9:7 (2x), 10 - What the "locusts" looked like.

              f.    Revelation 9:19 - The 200 million horses (+ riders) - what they were like.

              g.    Revelation 11:1 - The measuring rod that was like a staff.

              h.    Revelation 13:2 (2x), 11 - What the two beasts were like.

              i.     Revelation 16:13 - Unclean spirits that were like frogs. (Most mss use a synonym for the word "like.")


       2.    Misc. things that are like/similar to something else, in ability / condition / nature.

              a.    Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31 (a few mss) - The second great command is like it (= like the first great command). [In Mark, most mss. omit the word "like" and read: The second command is this...]

              b.    Acts 17:29 - Deity isn't like a crafted image designed by people!

              c.    Galatians 5:21 - People who practice things like [the list of sins] will not inherit the kingdom of God.

              d.    1 John 3:2 - When Jesus appears, we will be like him...

              e.    Revelation 13:4 - Nobody was like the beast [in power / authority / etc.].

              f.    Revelation 18:18 - No city was like Babylon...

              g.    Revelation 21:11, 18 - (A description of various things in the New Jerusalem - what they were like.)


       3.    "Likeness" comparisons - "The kingdom of God/heaven is like..."

              a.    Matthew 13:31; Luke 13:18-19 - Like a mustard seed...

              b.    Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:21 - Like yeast...

              c.    Matthew 13:44 - Like a hidden treasure...

              d.    Matthew 13:45 - Like a fine pearl...

              e.    Matthew 13:47 - Like a net used to catch fish...

              f.    Matthew 20:1 - Like a landowner who was hiring workers...


       4.    Similarity of action / thought, etc.

              a.    Matthew 11:16; Luke 7:31-32 - The people of this generation - like children playing in the marketplace.

              b.    Matthew 13:52 - Teachers who understand the kingdom of heaven - like a homeowner who displays both old and new treasures.

              c.    Our response to what Christ says:

                     i.     Luke 6:47-48 - Those who hear and obey - like a house built on a strong foundation.

                     ii.    Luke 6:49 - Those who hear and don't obey - like a house built on sand.

              d.    Luke 12:36 - People who are waiting for Jesus to return are to be like the servants who are ... ready to open the door when the master arrives.

              e.    John 8:55 - Jesus was not like the lying Jewish leaders. [He would have been like them, if he didn't acknowledge that he knew the Father!]

              f.    Jude 1:7 - The cities that acted like Sodom and Gomorrah - they are all an example/reminder of the future judgment that is coming.

D. Summary


When something is "like" something else, it means there are similarities... but there may also be differences. If something is "not like" something else, it means there are differences, but (at least within that specific context) not any significant similarities. For the purposes of our study:


1) We cannot make some type of image or object and claim that God ("deity") is like that object.

2) Jesus, in his present appearance, is like a "son of man" and (among other descriptions), his feet are like glowing bronze. (The rest of his description is found in Revelation 1.)

3) When Jesus returns, we will be (become) like him. Though we don't yet know all that this means, it is worth looking forward to!

[6B] G3665 - ὁμοιότης (homoiotēs)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) likeness

B. Verses with this word


Hebrews 4:15; 7:15

C. Outline


       1.    Jesus, our high priest...

              a.    Jesus - like Melchizedek, as far as his priesthood is concerned.

                     i.     Hebrews 7:15 - Jesus - a priest like Melchizedek... [See v. 1-3 for some of the similarities.]

              b.    Jesus - like us, as far as temptation is concerned... except that he did not sin.

                     i.     Hebrews 4:15 - He understands / sympathizes with our weaknesses, because he was tempted in every way, just like us... except that he didn't sin.

D. Summary


Both passages focus on Jesus' ministry as our high priest. There are ways in which Jesus' ministry as priest is like the ministry of the Old Testament priest Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4) - and we can learn from those similarities.


One of his qualifications as our high priest involves ways in which he is similar to us. However, there are also differences, as shown in the Hebrews 4:15 passage: Though tempted (like us), Jesus did not sin.

[6C] G3666 - ὁμοιόω (homoioō)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) to be made like

       2) to liken, compare

              2a) illustrate by comparisons

B. Verses with this word


Matthew 6:8; 7:24, 26; 11:16; 13:24; 18:23; 22:2; 25:1; Mark 4:30; Luke 7:31; 13:18, 20; Acts 14:11; Romans 9:29; Hebrews 2:17

C. Outline


       1.    The kingdom of heaven/God is like / compared to (normally focusing on the entire situation/parable, not only the first item/person mentioned in it)...

              a.    Mark 4:30; Luke 13:18 - Like a mustard seed...

              b.    Luke 13:20 - Like yeast...

              c.    Matthew 13:24 - Like a man who sowed good seed (and the enemy sowed weeds)...

              d.    Matthew 18:23 - Like a king who settled accounts with his slaves (and one of them responded in an evil manner)...

              e.    Matthew 22:2 - Like a king who gave a wedding feast (and many refused to come)...

              f.    Matthew 25:1 - Like 10 virgins (5 wise and 5 foolish)...


       2.    This generation is like children playing in the marketplace, dissatisfied and complaining...

              a.    Matthew 11:16; Luke 7:31 - Like children... (not satisfied with either John the Baptizer or Jesus).


       3.    Those who hear / obey Jesus' words (or who don't do so).

              a.    Matthew 7:24 - Those who hear and do obey - like a wise man who built his house on a rock foundation.

              b.    Matthew 7:26 - Those who hear and don't obey - like a foolish man who built his house on sand (i.e., without a foundation).


       4.    What to not be like, when praying.

              a.    Matthew 6:8 - Don't be like babbling pagans!


       5.    Paul and Barnabas - wrongly thought to be gods who had become like men.

              a.    Acts 14:11 - "The gods have come down to us, looking like men!"


       6.    Israel - like Gomorrah (wiped out), if it weren't for God's mercy.

              a.    Romans 9:29 (quote of Isaiah 1:9) - We would have been like Sodom / like Gomorrah. [The first word "like" is a synonym to the one we are examining here.]


       7.    Jesus - like his "brothers" (those of us who are his followers) in every way.

              a.    Hebrews 2:17 - He had to be like his brothers in every way - i.e., being human, able to suffer and be tempted, able to experience death, etc., so that he could be the type of high priest we need.

D. Summary


For our study, the important thing is that Jesus was like us (as opposed to being like angels - Hebrews 2:16 - or like a spirit being that did not have "flesh and blood"). He was like us in every respect that mattered, so that he could become our high priest, able to atone for our sins. He experienced what it meant to be a human... but this did not mean that he had to experience what it meant to be a sinner. (Being tempted - something Jesus did experience - is not the same as choosing to give-in to that temptation - something Jesus didn't experience.)

[6D] G3667 - ὁμοίωμα (homoiōma)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) that which has been made after the likeness of something

              1a) a figure, image, likeness, representation

              1b) likeness, i.e. resemblance, such as amounts almost to equality or identity

B. Verses with this word


Romans 1:23; 5:14; 6:5; 8:3; Philippians 2:7; Revelation 9:7

C. Outline


       1.    Jesus: He became like sinful men.

              a.    Romans 8:3 - God sent him in the likeness of sinful man ["flesh"], so he could condemn sin in sinful man ["flesh"] - something the Law was powerless to do. [He judged and destroyed its power in us... so that we could live by the Spirit, instead.]

              b.    Philippians 2:7 - He was made in the likeness of men, having taken on a servant's nature, etc.

[6D-1] Note about being "made" in the likeness of men:

G1096 - γίνομαι (ginomai)

Thayer Definition:

       1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being

       2) to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen

              2a) of events

       3) to arise, appear in history, come upon the stage

              3a) of men appearing in public

       4) to be made, finished

              4a) of miracles, to be performed, wrought

       5) to become, be made

Jesus "came to be" in the likeness of men. Note the contrast to James 3:9 (listed under the next word), which tells us that humans "came to be" (ginomai) in the likeness of God!


       2.    The saved (Jesus' followers): Our baptism is (symbolically) like our union with him (in his death / resurrection).

              a.    Romans 6:5 - If we have been united with him in the likeness of his death [symbolically dying with him], so also we will be united with him in [the likeness of] his resurrection. (Most mss. do not have the second word "likeness," but the word is assumed by context.)


       3.    Some comments about sin in the human race.

              a.    Going after "images," rather than God.

                     i.     Romans 1:23 - They abandoned the glory of the immortal God, and went after images made to look like mortal creatures.

              b.    Ruled by death (influenced by Adam's sin).

                     i.     Romans 5:14 - (Even before the Law) - death reigned over all humanity, even when their sins weren't like the deliberate act of disobedience that Adam committed. [Adam's sin influenced all his offspring, just like Christ's obedience influenced all those who are considered his "offspring."]


       4.    "Locusts" (in the book of Revelation).

              a.    Revelation 9:7 - A description of what they were like...

D. Summary


The word "likeness" is very significant, when describing the way Jesus became "one of us." Though he was "like" us, there were certain aspects of our existence - such as our propensity to sin - which were not present. (See also the summary for the previous word.)


Images that look like created objects (or beings) cannot be "gone after," in place of (or even as representing) the uncreated God.

[6E] G3669 - ὁμοίωσις (homoiōsis)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) a making like

       2) likeness: after the likeness of God

B. Verses with this word


James 3:9

C. Outline


       1.    Humans - made in the likeness of God.

              a.    James 3:9 - Humans are made in the likeness of God; so it is totally inconsistent and contradictory for us to praise God, while (at the same time) we curse humans! [See the note under Philippians 2:7 (listed under the previous word), for information about the verb "made."]

D. Summary


Again, there is a difference between humans and God. We are like God, but we aren't equivalent to God. Yet because of the similarities that do exist, the way we respond to humans must be consistent with the way we respond to God.

[6F] G3663 - ὁμοιοπαθής (homoiopathēs)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) suffering the like with another, of like feelings or affections

B. Verses with this word

       Acts 14:15; James 5:17

C. Outline


       1.    Paul and Barnabas - men just like everyone else.

              a.    Acts 14:15 - We are humans who have the same types of feelings like everyone else! (We are not gods - see v. 11.)


       2.    Elijah - just like the rest of us (and a good example to follow).

              a.    James 5:17 - Elijah was a man who was just like the rest of us (he experienced the same types of feelings, etc.)... He prayed and his prayers were answered. [We should learn from his example.]

D. Summary


These passages mention people who are like other people - they have the "same types of feelings." They are not "more special" than the rest of us. We shouldn't exalt them above us, but should learn from their examples.

[6G] G871 - ἀφομοιόω (aphomoioō)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) to cause a model to pass off into an image or shape like it

       2) to express itself in it, to copy

       3) to produce a facsimile

       4) to be made like, render similar

B. Verses with this word


Hebrews 7:3

C. Outline


       1.    Melchizedek - made to be like the Son of God (a "picture" that would teach us about Jesus' priesthood).

              a.    Hebrews 7:3 - He was made like the Son of God - i.e., his priesthood became a "picture" of Jesus' priesthood.

D. Summary


Though not identical, there are striking similarities. The one became a "picture" of the other. (See the context.)

[6H] G3945 - παρομοιάζω (paromoiazō)

A. Thayer Definition

       1) to be like

       2) to be not unlike

B. Verses with this word


Matthew 23:27; Acts 3:22

C. Outline


       1.    The religious leaders - like whitewashed tombs.

              a.    Matthew 23:27 - You are like whitewashed tombs... looking good on the outside but full of dead men's bones on the inside.


       2.    Jesus - a prophet like Moses.

              a.    Acts 3:22 (some mss.) - Moses said: "God will raise up a prophet from among you, like me. You must pay attention to what he says." (This was fulfilled in Christ.) [Note: Many mss. use a synonym for "like," but either way, the verse says the same thing.]

D. Summary


Just as there were similarities between Jesus and Melchizedek (see the previous word), there are also similarities between Jesus and Moses.

[6I] G3946 - παρόμοιος (paromoios)

A. Thayer Definition


1) like

B. Verses with this word


Mark 7:8 (some mss.), 13

C. Outline


       1.    The religious leaders... replacing God's commands with human traditions (examples).

              a.    Mark 7:13 - [after giving an example] - You do many things like that.

              b.    Mark 7:8 - [Similar to v. 13 ("You do many things like that."); present here in some early manuscripts., but not in most.]

D. Summary


This is an example not to follow... and one of the reasons the religious leaders were called "whitewashed tombs" (see the previous word).

Dennis Hinks © 1983, 2006



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