15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
At the time of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Colossae, there was a dominant local cult that was challenging the believers’ understanding of Jesus’ position in the spiritual domain. So Paul spends some time to address the issue (verses 15-19) to help the Colossian Christians understand Jesus’ authority and sovereignty.
First, Jesus the Son of God is the image of the invisible God. “Image” here refers to “likeness.” Jesus said that those who saw (knew) him would have seen (known) God; He was in the Father and the Father was in Him (John 14:9,11). The Colossian believers had come to know and experience Jesus in their lives and Paul wanted them to know that there was no mistaking Jesus for merely one of the spiritual beings as local cults might/would have them believe, as opposed to being the only sovereign Almighty God.
Second, Jesus is the firstborn over all creation. The use of the word “firstborn” here refers not to sequence of birth but the cultural significance of being the first child in the family line. This first child has a preeminent status in the household, he is given a double portion of blessing over his siblings, and he inherits and is responsible for most of the family estate when he comes of age. The use the word “over” means that Jesus has superior status and authority over the group of every created person and thing; note it does not mean that Jesus was part of the group of created people or objects but implies that He separately pre-existed before God began all His creation work. Paul elaborates on this concept in verses 16-18.
Verses 19-22 that follow explain the implications of who Jesus is. Because God fully lives in Him (i.e. Jesus holds all of God’s characteristics, nature, power, authority and worth), Jesus lives out God’s desire for reconciliation with all of His created things. Through His death, Jesus becomes the sacrifice on behalf of mankind that God requires in order to forgive Man’s sin(s) and sinful behavior, and those who would believe what Jesus did for them are free from sin’s penalty of eternal death and able to stand before God, who is perfectly holy, with heads held high and without shame or guilt.
What is this to us? The crux of the Christian faith, our relationship with God, rests entirely on who Jesus is. He has made it possible to discover the full spectrum of who God is – from an intimate companion, a loyal advocate, a lover of our souls to a majestic, all-powerful, ruler of the universe who governs all things material and spiritual and is for us. We may not know how to interact with a god but He knows we know how to interact with a human. That is why God came as Jesus to this world, so that He would become accessible to us and show us who God is, what His heart is like, that we may experience His tenderness, compassion and love. God does not want to be a distant god, He wants to come close and be with us. So pick up your bibles, learn and reflect on Jesus’ life, and get to know God (more).
Thoughts for the day
- Through Jesus, God made the effort to carve an easy way so you can know Him, how much effort are you making to take up offer to get to know Him (more)?
- Ask God to help you develop an increasing enjoyment of digesting His word, gaining insight and seeing its relevance to your life. Ask Him to show you a way(s) to help appreciate spending time with Him more.
- Who in your life seems to deeply appreciate God’s word? Reach out to them and ask them how they search for treasures in His word.
Dear God and Heavenly Father, I want to experience you more. I want the stamina, ability and strength to do life well because you are the one that powers me, with or without the world’s icing on the cake. Come Lord, I welcome you further into my heart, mind and soul. May more of you come into me so that more of you flows out of me. Amen.