Jesus is the Image
In Colossians 1:15 we read, “He is the image of the invisible God…” That Jesus is called the image of God means that the person of Jesus Christ makes the invisible God visible. 1 Tim. 1:17 says, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever, amen.” John 4:24 clearly says “God is Spirit” and one of the things about a Spirit is that they don’t have physical bodies. Yet Hebrews 1:1-3 says this, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, through whom He also created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…” So you see what’s happened? Long ago, in the times of the Old Testament Saints, God spoke to His people through His prophets. Now, in these last days, God speaks to us…how? Through His Son, who is Himself the exact imprint or representation of His nature. Thus, through the incarnation of the Son of God, God revealed Himself to His people by wrapping Himself in skin. The invisible God of glory was now for the first time, visible. Because of this, “We must be careful not to look for God anywhere else, for apart from Christ, whatever offers itself to us in the name of God will turn out to be an idol.” (John Calvin) You want to know who God is? What He’s like? Look no further than Jesus, for He is the image of God.
Jesus is Firstborn
In Colossians 1:15 we also read, “Jesus is…the firstborn of all creation.” Care is needed here, and we should avoid speaking in physical terms, as if this means Jesus had a physical origin or was somehow created by God the Father. This view, that Jesus is a created being, still shows up in almost every cult even though it was condemned often as heresy in the early Church. Jesus was never created, He has always been, He is the eternal Son of God. The phrase “firstborn of all creation” is used metaphorically to mean Jesus was given the rights and privileges of a firstborn son. We see this in Deut. 21:17 and Exodus 4:22 which make it clear the firstborn son is the principal heir of the family. And so Jesus, by means of His incarnation, became the privileged One, the principal heir of God the Father, the firstborn Son. In this manner Psalm 89:27 says of Jesus, “And I will make Him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” Romans 8:29 also, “For those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that His Son might be the firstborn among many brothers.” That He is the firstborn of all creation means Jesus will receive the entire creation as His inheritance from His Father and will rule over it for all eternity.
Jesus is the Creator
In Colossians 1:16 we read “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him.” Jesus didn’t come into being when He was born of the virgin Mary. His birth wasn’t His beginning. Rather His birth was His entrance onto the stage that He Himself created in Genesis 1. This verse teaches us that Jesus was the agent of creation through whom God made all things. And Jesus is not only the agent through whom God created all things, Jesus is the goal of creation as well – for all things were through Him AND for Him. Everything that is, was made by Jesus and for Jesus. For His glory, for His renown, for His majesty, for His fame…whether kings or empires or presidents or governments, animals or families or jobs or individual talents, children or technology or cars or homes – everything under the sun and everything above the sun was made the Son of God, for the Son of God. 1 Cor. 8:6 has a similar meaning, “…for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” Romans 11:33-36 also, “O’ the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever, amen.” The most important thing about each of us is that our lives aren’t about us! We were made for the glory of Jesus Christ, for we were made through Him and for Him.