Summary: #3 in series. This is about living Christocentric lives, making Him the most in our lives.
Colossians 1:15-18 – High Priority
This morning we are continuing our series through Colossians. Today we are looking at 4 verses, 1:15-18. And if you have ever asked, “What does Jesus matter?”, this passage answers that. Let’s read Colossians 1:15-18.
Little Johnny was spending the weekend with his grandmother after a particularly trying week in kindergarten. His grandmother decided to take him to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful.
His grandmother remarked..."Doesn't it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?"
Johnny said, "Yes, God did it. And, he did it left handed."
This confused his grandmother a bit, and she asked him, "What makes you say God did this with his left hand?"
"Well," said Johnny, "we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God's right hand so he HAD to use his left hand!"
Today we are examining what Jesus did, and why does it matter. Now, I’m going to do something that is just not good story-telling. I’m giving you the ending first. I’m giving away where I’m going with this. Here’s the ending: Jesus deserves to be first in your life. That’s what we’re headed towards. Jesus deserves to be first in your life.
Now, let’s get to where we’re going. This passage in Colossians 1 is a great description of the Lord we serve: who He is, and what He did. Next week, we look more at the cross, but this section is more about what He did before people ever came around.
This section uses a handful of descriptions to tell us who Jesus is. The first: Jesus is the image of God. He’s the visible representation of the invisible God. You know, people talk about God, and our culture seems to want to connect with God, to get to know God. Well, if a person wants to know who God is, they can look at Jesus’ life and see. He loved those who were down and out, but confronted those who were smug and self-righteous.
He embraced the humble, and challenged those who only had faith when it was convenient. He never talked about hell to the sinful, but only to those who looked down on others. Jesus was described as a friend of sinners – it was the religious folk who had Him killed. Sometimes I wonder if Jesus would even fit into today’s North American church. Who Jesus is, that’s who God is.
The next descriptor of Jesus is also in v15 – the firstborn over all creation. Some people take this verse to mean that Jesus was the first thing/person created. That can’t possibly be true because the next verse says that all things were created by Him. All things couldn’t be created by Him if He Himself had been created too.
You need to notice that Jesus is called the first-born, not the first-created. The Greek word for "first-born" is about priority. In the culture of the Ancient Near East, the first-born was not necessarily the oldest child. First-born referred not to birth order but to rank. The first-born possessed the inheritance and leadership. What Paul is saying here is that Jesus is superior to everything in the whole universe.
The word is pre-eminence. That’s the word used in v18 in the King James. Pre-eminence. It means the supremacy, the superiority, in comparability, the authority, the excellence, the prominence. It’s about Jesus being more important than anything in all creation. Let’s come back to this in a minute.
The next description used to explain Jesus is the Creator. V16 says it more than once: all things were created by Him. Everything you see, everything you don’t see. He created it all. But how can that be? I thought God created everything. Oh yes He did. This is one of the clearest passages in the whole NT that says Jesus is God.
Most heresies over the years have said one of 2 things: that Jesus is not fully God, or Jesus is not fully human. Now, even though I can’t necessarily understand how it can be, it certainly true: Jesus is 100% God, and at the same time, 100% human.
Otherwise, how could He help us? How could anything besides God connect us back to God, and how could anything besides a person help God know what it’s like to be us? Jesus became the perfect sacrifice by bridging the gap between us and God. God took on flesh, became a man, to know what it was like to be us.
Hebrews 4 tells us that Jesus is able to sympathize with us, to know what we go through, and help us when we need it. If you have ever been lonely, Jesus knows what that feels like. If you have ever been hurt, Jesus knows what that feels like. If you have ever been tempted, under pressure, abused, mistreated, deserted by your friends… Jesus knows what that feels like. The One who created you also knows what you are going through.