Colossians 1:15-17

The central message of Colossians may be summed up like this: Jesus is everything you need, and everything you need is in Jesus (see also chapter two, verses nine and ten.) In (1:15-20) we come across one of the great Christological passages in the New Testament. It’s a hymn of praise about Jesus. (It may even have been an early Christian ‘hymn’ that Paul included in his letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.) Someone said that it shows Christ supreme in creation (15-17); and in the church, the new creation (18-20). We will look at it under these two headings during the next two days.

Christ supreme in creation (15-17):

  • ‘’He is the image of the invisible God…’’ (15a). The word for ‘’image’’ is the same one used regarding the Emperor’s ‘image’ on the currency in those days. Many people in the Roman Empire would never see the Imperial ruler in person. But if they had coinage in their pockets they knew what he was like for they had seen his image. ‘’We look at the Son and see the God who cannot be seen.’’ The Message. (John 1: 18.) We may never have seen God, but we see His glory ‘’in the face of Christ’’ (2 Corinthians 4:6.) We know what the invisible God is like because He is revealed to us in Jesus (see 2:9.)
  • ‘’…the firstborn over all creation.’’ The key words here are ‘’over’’ and ‘’all’’. Jesus is the ‘’firstborn’’ ,not in the sense of coming into being at some point in time. That’s not the thought at all. The firstborn was the most important person in the household and had pre-eminence. Now that is the idea. Jesus is supreme over creation. (See Psalm 89:27 – a very important verse for understanding this ‘firstborn’ idea.)
  • ‘’For by him all things were created…’’ God made the universe, but He did so by means of His Word and His Spirit, and Jesus is that living ‘’Word’’ (John 1:1-3; 10; 14.) It follows logically that the One who made ‘’all things’’ would also be ‘’over’’ the ‘’all’’ things He has made. Everything was created ‘’by’’ Jesus and ‘’for’’ Is your Jesus too small? How we need to have our hearts and minds enlarged by the Holy Spirit so that we can see Him as He is and worship Him as He deserves.
  • ‘’He is before all things…’’ Again, it is a logical thought that the Person who made it all would come before it all. This phrase points to the pre-existence of Jesus. As God, He is eternal (Hebrews 1:8.)
  • ‘’…and in him all things hold together.’’ It is the case that, were it not for Jesus, we would not be able to live a moment longer. We owe our life; our every breath, to Him.

‘’He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.’’ The Message.

Let the greatness of Jesus fill your vision today, and know that you are safe in His Hands. He is in control.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, cause me to see you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly.