Colossians 1:18-20

‘’…so that in everything he might have the supremacy.’’ (18b) Jesus should hold the same place in the church; in our lives, that He does in the universe. This is the position of supremacy. ‘From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone.’’ The Message.

Yesterday we looked at Christ, supreme in creation (15-17). This next section shows Him to be supreme in the church, the new creation. The false teachers infecting the church at Colossae with their heretical germs, were very wrong about Jesus. Paul wanted to remind the Christians just who ‘’He is…’’ (The expression is repeated several times in 15-20.)

‘’And he is the head of the body, the church…’’ (18a) I understand that the emphasis in the original language is that ‘He, and He alone’, is the Head. This has profound implications for how we lead the church and run our lives. What part does prayer play; being still before the Lord and listening to Him? The church is not a constitutional monarchy and Jesus is no figurehead King. He must rule absolutely.

‘’…he is the beginning…’’ (18) As Jesus is the beginning of the Universe, so He is the beginning of the church. If He were not building us, we would not be built! As someone pointed out, Jesus is ‘’the beginning’’ of the church, and it has no ending!

‘’…and the firstborn from among the dead…’’ (18) In this context, ‘’firstborn’’ points to the fact that Jesus was the first (and most important) Person to truly rise from the dead (Some others may have been resuscitated, only to die again, but Jesus arose to a new order of life), and there will be many more to follow (See also 1 Corinthians 15:20 for a similar thought.) Because He lives, His people will live also. Jesus has beaten death, and in Him we are overcomers too.

‘’…so that in everything he might have the supremacy.’’ (18b) Such a Jesus surely could not possibly hold any lesser place. This is the place He holds in the universe and over the church, regardless of our response. But will we put out the ‘white flag’ and fully submit to His rule?

‘’For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him…’’ (19) In those times, when a ship had all its crew on board, that ship was said to have ‘fullness’. Paul is saying, if you like, that all of God is ‘on board’ Jesus. This was a vital point to make because the false teachers saw Jesus as just one of a series of ‘emanations’ from God. ‘They didn’t deny Him’, someone said, ‘but they did dethrone Him!’

‘’…and through him to reconcile…’’ (20) The Jesus who made ‘’all things’’ (16) has made it possible for ‘’all things’’ to be reconciled to God through the peace-making mission of the cross. The universe can and will be restored through Jesus’ great sacrifice. ‘’Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.’’ The Message.