Jesus is "all that"
Sometimes we accept large concepts as being true, but we don’t necessarily recognize “how true” the concept is until we break it down into smaller chunks and realize the parts of life it applies to.
We know that Jesus said the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is just like it – to love your neighbor as yourself.
Easy to say. Easy to understand. But when we start looking at all the specific ways that truth applies in our lives and in the grand scheme of humanity…our eyes open wider, we breathe in a little slower, and we mentally wrestle with how far-reaching Jesus’ words really are.
Similarly, when we read about Jesus as the “King of Kings” or “ruling over all the nations”, we usually acknowledge those statements as true and then move on. We believe them; we’re not doubting those facts…we simply don’t take the time to think through those statements all the way to their natural conclusions.
As Paul writes to the believers in Colossae, he wants them to have a complete picture of Jesus. The rest of the letter will continue with the theme of Christ’s supremacy over all things and people. It is here in the introduction that Paul begins with how much greater Jesus is, how comprehensive His authority is, and how far His governing reaches.
Paul makes this point by repeating one small Greek word over and over and over. In these 5 verses, Paul says the word esti a total of eight times. To help us English-speakers understand, the word esti is translated into two different words. However, both English words convey the totality and completeness that Paul intended. As you read this passage, look for anytime Paul uses the words all and everything. What does Jesus have “all” of? How far does “everything” go?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation;
because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities –
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself
by making peace through the blood of His cross –
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
From the descriptions in these verses, we see that Jesus’ authority is both supreme and total. He rightfully rules over all creation since He is the Creator. Since Jesus created it all, that means He is also before all things, which boggles our minds to think that Jesus existed…before our timeline began. Also, Jesus doesn’t lose track of any part of what He created – He holds all things together. Which means He has intimate knowledge of every part of everything, at every second of every day.
Are we starting to see the immensity of who Jesus is?
Are we beginning to recognize His authority over everything?
Because Jesus is fully God – not a partial, not half/half, not a created being – His abilities and attributes are unmatched by anyone or anything else. As such, Jesus has the greatest value in all creation…which is why the blood of His cross has the ability to reconcile everything.
This is our Savior. This is our King.
This is the man who loves you enough to die in your place.
He truly deserves to have first place in everything.