In the month of November 2019, we began a verse by verse study of the Book of Colossians, this is a review of Day 4 - Colossians 1:9-14 - (Prayers for the Colossian church) done by our founder, Omotayo B. Adeoye. You can download the full study on her website Biblestudynote.com
I will title this ‘The Creator’
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,1:15 Or He is the firstborn of all creation. 16for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
I relate VS 15 to a typical family. Jesus is the firstborn child of God, our mutual parent. He looks like him and behaves like him. If we need to check what God will do or what thinks, we can go and look at Jesus.
“in all things Christ fairly represents to us the Divine nature and perfections. God is manifest to us through him...We see God in him, as we see an object in that which is in all respects an exact copy of it. God is invisible. No eye has seen him, or can see him; but in what Christ is, and has done in the works of creation and redemption, we have a fair and full representation of what God is” - Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary
This scripture is one reason why we can’t believe the lie that Jesus was just a prophet (according to some religions). Jesus was not just a personal assistant or spokesperson, he is the image of God. As Jesus himself said, I and my father are one!
Like an elder one also, he is above all creation as he is the firstborn. He has positional authority over everything.
Before anything was created, he existed. From this argument, we can infer that Jesus wasn’t created. He just is! The same God wasn’t created. We see this in John 8:58 when Jesus said "Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" He wasn’t born, created, made or formed; he simple is. Glory be to God.
“The first-born, or the eldest son among the Hebrews as elsewhere, had peculiar privileges. He was entitled to a double portion of the inheritance. It has been, also, and especially in Oriental countries, a common thing for the eldest son to succeed to the estate and the title of his father. In early times, the firstborn son was the officiating priest in the family, in the absence or on the death of the father.” - Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary
VS 16 - This verse goes further in establishing the preeminence of Jesus. I believe that it’s one part we easily forget nowadays. Jesus played a major role in creation!
I like the way the KJV puts it.
16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
By him - by is a preposition that shows how something was done. We grow by eating - this means we can’t grow if we don’t eat i.e. eating is essential to growing.
Applying this reasoning to the above text, it is simply saying that nothing would exist if Jesus didn;t exist because everything was made by him. He made everything. Paul was here, building up to the fact that Jesus is God! He is not merely a son, he is not merely a servant, he is not merely a spokesperson. He is the Almighty, uncreated Creator of the universe. Halleluyah!
Paul went far to detail everything and i am very pleased that he specifically listed the things that scare us in this present age - thrones, principalities, witches, wizards, ogbanjes and the likes. They were all created by him and he has dominion over them! And guess what, you are seated in Christ - you are far above principalities and powers of this dark world.
He created everything in heaven - the heavenly bodies (stars, suns, planets, etc., this is why astrology and worship of any created thing in fact is wrong), he created the angels and the 24 elders. He created all things on earth! Cars, houses, technology, water, hills etc.
Visible and invisible things - things science can’t explain or even find out, air, sound, electromagnetic spectrum, the mind, spirits etc.
A major thing I want to draw our attention to is ‘for him’
We (along with every created being) were created for him, we were not made for our goals and ambitions, we were made for his glory. We are a part of his plan. We belong to him. Just like a man builds a house for his purposes, so were we created.
“The universe was built by the Creator to be his own property; to be the theatre on which he would accomplish his purposes, and display his perfections.” - Albert Barnes NT Commentary
The power of a mother birthing a child has nothing compared to the power of Jesus creating you. Your mother holds some major power as the one who labored to bring you to life. Even the Bible tells us to honor our parents, but even them can’t explain how you were formed. They themselves were created by someone and even though they laboured for hours to bring you into this world; they can’t created a tiny hair on your head. How much more God?!
When we think about it this way, we begin to understand the rebellion of man and why it breaks God’s heart. The ones he made, the ones he fashioned according to his liking, the ones he made for his grand and good plan, turning their backs on him?!
VS 17 - ‘by him all things consist’
Chai! Again we see the use of the preposition ‘by’. The NLT says “he holds all creation together”’. So if we consist by him, this means that without him we would cease to exist.
“The meaning is, that they are kept in the present state; their existence, order, and arrangement are continued by his power. If unsupported by him, they would fall into disorder, or sink back to nothing.” - Albert Barnes NT Commentary
Jesus did not just created everything, he holds everything together even now! This is why he can never leave you nor forsake you, why nothing that happens to you is ever outside his scope of reference, why nothing is ever out of his eye ...because he still holds all things together.
It may not look like it to you, you may feel like your world has fallen apart and he is doing nothing about it but ‘by him ALL things consist’
If he were to stop holding it all together for 1 second, the show is over. Poof! We would all disintegrate instantly. He is our life support and he is still in control. Remember Job; he felt like the whole world had fallen over and God was on an extended vacation but when God spoke, he reminded that he still holds the oceans in place, he still feds the birds who do not work, he still places the rainbow in the sky. How much more is looking out for you?!
Today’s study creates in me so much awe, adoration and appreciation that Jesus who did and is doing this, is the same one who died for me. He is the same one who holds my heart in his hands and no matter what happens, I am still and forever will be in his hands.