Summary: A sermon on how we should respond to the supremacy of Christ.
Learning to Bow
Kinesics. Ever heard of it? The study of nonverbal communication, or body language- the idea that people communicate not just with words, but with facial expressions, gestures, even posture. Take a mouthful of Aunt Susie’s soup and grimace and you tell her how it tastes. Talk to somebody who is constantly looking around and you suspect they’re not listening. Drivers on the highway clearly communicating their opinion even when you can’t’ hear a word they say. Bowing—kneeling---laying flat with your face in the dirt. What does that communicate? What do we say when we bow low? It communicates humility, humiliation; it says, “I’m not worthy to stand in the presence of this person.” Who deserves that kind of treatment?
The Bible says Jesus Christ does. In the NT all kinds of people bow low before Jesus---lepers, wild, demon-possessed people, frightened disciples who watch Jesus calm a storm on command. Each time they bow before Him, they communicate something important about Who Jesus is, and who we are. Bowing signifies Jesus Christ is worthy of worship, He is worthy for everybody to bow before Him, not just with our bodies, but our minds, with our hearts, our will.
Why? Why should I bow—why should you bow—before Him? What did they see in Jesus you and I are missing? What is it about Christ that could make us want to join them, bowed low before the Lord? The apostle Paul gives us the answer in Col. 1:15-23. Let’s read together.
Why should you bow low before Jesus Christ? Paul gives us 3 reasons:
I. BOW DOWN BECAUSE HE IS GOD. (v. 15-17)
A young woman brings home her fiancé‚ to meet her father, who takes the young man into his study. "So what are your plans?" the father asks. "I am a Bible scholar," he replies. The father says, "That’s good, but what will you do to provide a nice home for my daughter?" "I will study and God will provide." "How will you buy her an engagement ring?" asks the father. "I will study, and God will provide." The father asks "How will you support children?" "Don’t worry, sir, God will provide," Later the mom asks dad, "How did it go?" He answers, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I’m God."
No mere mortal deserves our worship. In the Bible whenever somebody tries to worship men or angels they always say stop doing that. Bow down only to God. When people bow down to Jesus, He doesn’t scold them, He welcomes their worship. Paul tells us why: Jesus Christ is God.
He is the image of the invisible God. (v. 15) God specifically tells the Jews not to make any images of God , because no human being can capture God’s glory- nobody but Jesus.
Jesus is God clothed in a physical body. He shows us Who God is, not by His physical appearance, but by His words, by His actions, by His power and love. Read the Gospels, focus on Christ, and you see precisely what God is like. Which Paul reminds us also means
He is the Creator of everything. (v. 16) The Bible tells us very clearly in
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
God made it all, for His own plan, for His own purpose, and for His own pleasure. But Paul echoes the rest of the NT in telling us that in Christ, the Creator became part of His creation; the Author entered His own story. For 33 years the same God Who created all things…visible and invisible…, v. 16 walked among us. Everything is made by Him and for Him.
He holds it all together. …in Him all things consist…(v. 17) He really does have the whole world in His hands, and nothing or nobody can take it out. He is in complete control of it all.
Suppose you met the Jesus Paul describes here: God in a human body, God Who made it all, the God Who holds it all together. How would you react? What would you do?
“I’d ask Him some questions. I think I deserve to get some answers about why He runs things the way He does.” Job thought that, but when God actually shows up, Job says
Job 42:5-6 5My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job bowed low before the Lord.
“Bro. Mike, Jesus and I are close. If He shows up I’d walk up to Him just like I would my best Buddy.” One of Jesus’ closest friends named John did see Him on Patmos and writes:
Revelation 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. John bows low to Christ.