Summary: This is the second of a two-part message on the clear teaching of Scripture that Jesus is God.
April 6, 2003 Colossians 1:15-20
“Why worship Jesus?” (pt. 2)
Last week, we began to look at Colossians 1:15-20 and the top ten reasons to worship Jesus. Worship is the key to the health of any church and every Christian. It is central to who we are and should impact every area of our lives. One country preacher recognized how important worship is and even trained his mule with words of worship. The day came when he had to sell the mule. The preacher told the new owner that the mule was trained to go when the rider said "Praise the Lord," and to stop when the rider said, "Amen." The buyer mounted the beast and commanded, "Praise the Lord," and the mule shot off like a rocket. The startled rider panicked. "Whoa!" he screamed. The mule was headed straight for a cliff, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" At the last second he remembered the minister’s instructions. "Amen!" he shouted, and the mule screeched to a halt right at the edge of the cliff. As the new owner peered over the precipice, he wiped his brow and sighed, "Praise the Lord."... At least, he entered heaven with praise on his lips.
As we examine the other 5 of the top ten reasons to worship Jesus, my prayer for us is that worshipping Jesus will become so much the theme of our lives that words of praise will be the first words we speak in the morning and the last words we speak before we draw our final breath.
1. Worship Jesus because He is the REVEALER of the Father. “image of the invisible God”
2. Worship Jesus because He is the RULER of all creation. “firstborn over all creation”
3. Worship Jesus because He is the CREATOR of all that exists. “by Him all things were created”
4. Worship Jesus because He is the BEGINNER of all things. “He is before all things”
Scientists are working hard to discover the beginnings of the universe. They are building bigger and bigger telescopes that can see farther and farther. Why do they want to see so far? Is it so that they can learn more about God’s universe so that they can worship Him more? No, they want to see farther because they figure that the remnants of the beginning of the universe are out there somewhere.
Imagine a bomb. Put yourself in slow motion, and set the bomb off. Watch as the pieces of the bomb spread out in an ever-widening sphere. If you, as a scientist, wanted to learn more about that bomb and didn’t have access to the spot where it actually exploded, where would you look? To the outermost portion of the expanding sphere because that area contains the remnants of the beginning of the explosion. That’s exactly why scientists study the farthest edge of the universe - to learn about the BIG BANG. The are correct in their belief that meaning and understanding is found in beginnings. But they are incorrect in where they are looking for the beginning. They need to look beyond the universe all the way into heaven, and I don’t think they will ever build a telescope capable of doing that.
Here in our passage, Paul says of Jesus that “He is before all things”. The word that is translated “before” actually means “beginning”. Jesus is the beginning of all things. Before anything else was, Jesus was. When Moses asked God what His name was, God said, “I am that I am; that is my name.” (Exodus 4) God is the One who has always been and who ever will be. He is the great I AM. Jesus picked up on this title and used it over and over again to refer to Himself. He said I am the bread (Jn. 6:35), I am the Light (Jn. 8:12), I am the Gate (Jn. 10:7), I am the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11), I am the Resurrection and the Life (Jn. 11:25), I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn. 14:6), and I am the True Vine (Jn. 15:5). Then, in John 8:58, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I AM!” The Jews knew what Jesus was saying. They picked up stones to stone Him because in using the title “I AM” for Himself, He was claiming to be God. If Jesus’ claim was not true, that would have been blasphemy which is a crime punishable by death. Paul says of Jesus, before anything else was, Jesus was already there.