*All scripture references come from the New King James Version
One of my favorite movies from the early 2000’s was called The Second Chance. The film starred Michael W. Smith and was the story of a privileged PK (Preachers Kid) who is primed to take over his fathers mega church. Smith’s character, nick named “Gucci” by the inner city pastor he is sent to serve because of his high dollar shoes, is simply going through the motions. He is a Christian in name only and the more people who are watching him as he gives $200 dollars to a homeless man or his leather jacket to a thief, the better. Our protagonist didn’t know how to serve Jesus because he didn’t understand who Jesus was. In short, He is LORD. Pastor Greg Laurie said it best:
Jesus is either Lord of all or He isn’t Lord at all
That means, ourselves, our time, and our possessions. Paul reminds the Church in Colosse and us as well that Christ is Lord in verses 16-18
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 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.
The first thing to notice here is, “For by him all things were created.” By Him,” this puts Jesus Christ on the same playing field as the Father, “by Him,” (meaning Jesus) that all things were created. As my pastor is famous for reminding us, All, in the Greek, means all. Let’s take a step back to verse 15.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
This is one of those moments when the English language is shallow and unless we look closely, the meaning of a word or passage can be truly lost in translation. The word image in the Greek is eikon. This is where we get the English word icon. It means, “copy,” or, “likeness,” Jesus Christ is the perfect image – the exact likeness – of God and to finish out the verse, has been so from all of eternity.
Have you ever sat back and given thought to the deity of Jesus? It is truly mind-blowing. How is it that Jesus is at once man and God. As this passage, and many others point out, Jesus is God but we know He was a man as well. As the prophecy found in Isiah 53:3 states:
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
I won’t even say that this can be confusing because, when it is contemplated by the human mind it is. So how is it that the church in Colosse is to accept Paul’s statement here? How are we? How are we to believe that Jesus, a man who walked the earth, as also God Possessing all of the attributes listed in versus 16-18? One word, faith.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,