These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not.-Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts, Part I.
Well, well. A quote from St. John.
Israel also claimed superior knowledge of God to "know what may be imaged and what may not."
CSB Hosea 8:1 Put the horn to your mouth! One like an eagle comes against the house of the LORD, because they transgress My covenant and rebel against My law.
2 Israel cries out to Me: My God, we know You!
3 Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.
4 They have installed kings, but not through Me. They have appointed leaders, but without My approval. They make their silver and gold into idols for themselves for their own destruction.
5 Your calf-idol is rejected, Samaria. My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of innocence?
6 For this thing is from Israel-- a craftsman made it, and it is not God. The calf of Samaria will be smashed to bits!
7 Indeed, they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. There is no standing grain; what sprouts fails to yield flour. Even if they did, foreigners would swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up! Now they are among the nations like discarded pottery.
(Hos 8:1-8 CSB)
Where is the claim to "superior knowledge," and more importantly its basis, as the Icon of the invisible God had not yet torn the veil of Moses from our hearts in the days of Hosea?
As the Gospel says, "Come and See." He calls in His last words: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,...and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
"24Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
Those who walk in the way of the Pharisees, claiming to be Moses' disciples, not knowing whence Christ is or "I Am," have been warned.
8:1. Like a swift eagle comes the Assyrians because Israel has rebelled against God's law including its prohibition against images.
You mean idols: God commanded images on Sinai, and blessed them in Solomon's Temple, and avenged them against Belshazzar's desecration.
8:2 Israel protests they know God, that they did this by God's mystical direction (cp 8:4).
2 εἰς κόλπον αὐτῶν ὡς γῆ ὡς ἀετὸς ἐπ' οἶκον κυρίου ἀνθ' ὧν παρέβησαν τὴν διαθήκην μου καὶ κατὰ τοῦ νόμου μου ἠσέβησαν
4 ἑαυτοῖς ἐβασίλευσαν καὶ οὐ δι' ἐμοῦ ἦρξαν καὶ οὐκ ἐγνώρισάν μοι τὸ ἀργύριον αὐτῶν καὶ τὸ χρυσίον αὐτῶν ἐποίησαν ἑαυτοῖς εἴδωλα ὅπως ἐξολεθρευθῶσιν
Nothing about God, His direction, or His mystery in there, so I do not know what you are finding "mystical."
22 "Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23 "And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
(Mat 7:22-23 NKJ)
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him
. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
26 And when the disciples saw Him
walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
(Mat. 2:11, 14:27-33, 28:9, 16-20)
NKJ 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
(1Co 12:1-2 NKJ)
15 He is the icon of the invisible God
, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell
, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh
through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Col. 1:15-23).
Btw, would you translate Colossians 1:15 as "He is the idol of the invisible God?"
Evil spirits pretending to be God's leading carried them away into idolatry. These were confident they knew God, that superior knowledge enabled them to " avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge."-Ibid.
The Holy Spirit as God overshadowed the Holy Theotokos into the Incarnation. She conceived God and she and the saints confident that they saw God, that superior knowledge enabled them to " avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge."
8:4 God contradicts their claim, their religious experiences were not from Him, He had nothing to do with their apostasy from the Law.
John 14:9-10 contradicts your claim. It was His good pleasure that the fullness of His Godhead take flesh and dwell among us, that we worship the icon of the invisible God to the glory of God the Father, and has everything to do with our keeping His law.
Hosea 8:5 I will have nothing to do with your young ox, O Samaria; my wrath is burning against them; how long will it be before the children of Israel make themselves clean? (Hos 8:5 BBE)
God calls Israel "O Samaria" because they mixed paganism into true religion by copying Jeroboam's image of the true God:
St. John quotes St. Leontius of Neapolis in calling the iconoclasts "atheists" because they mixed Judaism into the true religion by copying the Pharisees image of the True God.
28 So the king sought advice. Then he made two gold calves, and he said to the people, "Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here is your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt." (29 He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan.
30 This led to sin; the people walked in procession before one of the calves all the way to Dan.
(1Ki 12:28-30 CSB)
Each gold calf represented God, He was being worshiped through them.
The god of the Hindus wasn't the God of Israel, nor the God of the Church. So the invisible God Whose Icon is worshipped wasn't worshipped through your golden calves.
God spurns the image and asks "How long will they be incapable of purity."
That God speaks of impurity rather than idolatry confirms the calf image was used to worship Him.
So you think idolatry is pure?
8:6 "For this thing is from Israel-- a craftsman made it, and it is not God." Their impurity is astonishing given the origins of this image are clearly known, a craftsman made it, not God, therefore He will smash it to pieces.
He raised His Icon from the dead. Not astonishing, as the origins of this icon are clearly shown, the Holy Spirt God with the Holy Theotokos made Him, and the fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell among us. "My LORD and My God."
It is clear God rejects worship via an image:
He accepted it from the Magi, He accepted it from St. Thomas and the Apostles. He accepts it from us.
NKJ Exodus 32:8 "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said,`This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'" (Exo 32:8 NKJ)
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1 NKJ).
As God does not change, as Jesus is God, it is certain Jesus does not accept worship via an image, regardless whether its three dimensional, or two, for it is written "any kind of icon" is forbidden as an image of Him:
DT 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
Dt 4:16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure[eikona], the likeness of male or female.- Benton (lxx)
As Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, it is certain He tells us "See!" as He said to His Apostles on the 8th day of Creation, the 1st day of the New Creation, and He accepts our worship of Him as He accepted His Apostles, who taught us so.
MANTRA:Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
(1Jo 5:21 NKJ)
So the deloved disciple, the Theologian, warns us that "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes (ooops! he couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), which we have looked upon (ooops! he couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested (ooops! He couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), and we have seen it (ooops! they couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), and bear witness (oops! evidently false witness, and the Truth was not in him) , and shew unto you ((ooops! he couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that)) that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us (ooops! He couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that) 3That which we have seen (ooops! He couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that) and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (Luke 1:26-38; John 3:13-4: Numbers 21:8-9; I John 1:1-4).
Don't know what then to make of his warning (I John 2)
"18Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
28And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear (ooops! He can't do that: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 3:1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear (ooops! He can't do that: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that), we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (ooops! We can't: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that)...4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (ooops! He couldn'thave: Deut. 4:15ff forbade that) is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (Luke 1:26-38; John 3:13-4: Numbers 21:8-9; I John 1:1-4).
Your interpretation of St. Luke is impossible.
The Word took flesh and dwellt among us, and we behold His glory, the glory of the icon of the invisible God, Who took the likeness of man, in Which it was the good pleasure of the Father for the fullness of the Godhead to dwell therein, so that seeing Him we see God. John 1: 14, 14:9; Colossians 1:15, 19.