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Jesus Christ, Supreme

February 29, 2024

-Dr. J. Vernon McGee, from the Colossians Bible Companion

In case you wonder who Jesus is, after reading and studying Colossians you should wonder no longer.

Here is the clearest and most inspiring explanation of the deity and majesty of Jesus, God’s Son, perhaps in all of Scripture. This passionate letter to the Colossians defends Christianity against the sneaky, insidious philosophy of Gnosticism (that said Jesus was a lesser god born among many gods). We learn here that Jesus is God and fully God in every aspect. You may read and study Colossians and come away still not believing, but you can’t read this letter and say you’ve not been confronted by Jesus in all His deity and majesty.

[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. -1:15

The early church faced several assaults against who Jesus is. Some taught that the Lord Jesus Christ was a mere creature. But the leaders of the Christian church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 a.d. answered that lie by stating in their creed that, “the Son is very man of very man, and very God of very God!” Later others falsely taught Jesus was not God, that people were not troubled by a sin nature, and we don’t need a Savior. But just return to Colossians to combat lies with powerful truth.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

Few places in Scripture make Jesus’ deity plainer. The word translated “image” is the Greek word eikon, which means “something that exactly represents another.” Though God the Father can’t be seen, Jesus shows us God the Father in every possible way. In other words, if you see Jesus, you see God the Father.

Jesus is the firstborn over all creation.

Jesus’ relationship with His Father places Him above all other created things, especially things born from another. Jesus was born into humanity at Bethlehem, but that wasn’t His beginning (Micah 5:2). Rather, Jesus came out of eternity to take His place as a man in order to fulfill God’s wonderful purposes. Jesus, as the firstborn of all creation, not only came from God, but is God in the flesh (John 1).

Jesus is no mere creature. He came from eternity past and took His place, though in human form, as Creator God of the universe.

For by [Jesus] all things were created …. -1:16

Jesus, as Creator God, made all things both visible and invisible. Anything you can see in creation, Jesus created. Anything real that cannot be seen was also created by Him. This must have been an astounding concept for the Colossian believers to wrap their minds around, since they were surrounded by an entire culture that rejected such claims. Jesus is so much more than most people believe. He created the universe, both things visible and invisible. Do you know Jesus that way? Not only as your Savior, possibly, but also your Creator God? Take a few moments now and just ponder that thought. How does it strike you? How does it make you feel? What difference would it make if you fully believed it?

This letter to the Colossians invites you to know Jesus as your Creator!

And [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things consist. -1:17

In many ways, this one expression sums up Colossians. That Jesus exists in eternity past, present, and future and is part of all things that are created speaks of the completeness of His presence. He is eternal—no beginning and no end—and He is omnipresent—meaning, His presence is everywhere and knows no boundaries.

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. -1:18

Jesus is all and above all—and that includes being the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22). What encouragement to know that the risen Jesus lived as the wonderful Shepherd of our lives, caring for our needs and keeping us blameless before Him until the end (Hebrews 13:20-22).

And that same Jesus remained for them as preeminent over all things in creation, glorified before God and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Psalm 2; Hebrews 12:2). This final statement in the introduction landed the powerful argument about who Jesus really is.

This excerpt is from the Colossians Bible Companion. Download yours for free.

My Turn

  1. Why do you think so many heresies revolved around Jesus’ identity?
  2. In what ways was the birth of Jesus different from the birth of every other person?
  3. What was God’s purpose in taking on a physical body and living as a human being?
  4. Why do you think it is important that we come to know Jesus as the Creator?
  5. Why would sin prevent us even thinking rightly about God?
  6. What does Paul’s exhortation to “continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast,” look like for you today?