Thanks to Bill who has provided the notes this week. Our passage today is Colossians 1:15-23.
A book called “Your God is too small” was well known many years ago.
Paul might have begun these verses with the words “Your Jesus is too small”. He has just reminded the Colossians to give thanks to the Father who loves the Son in whom they are forgiven and redeemed. The Son is the one who said to Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14.9)
Jesus is the perfect image of God. He is the creator of all things. Nothing at all exists without him, whether material or spiritual (so he himself was not created). He is the reason for all things existing; as v16 says, they were created “for him.” In him all things hold together. He is the head over all the creation, with the privileges of authority and rule (the meaning of “firstborn” v15).
This is an echo of Genesis, where we read that Adam (his name means “the man”) was made in God’s image to rule over God’s creation. But Adam turned his back on God’s command and sin entered the world. Jesus is the perfect man who could say, “I do exactly what (the Father) has commanded me” John 14.31. The Bible says that we are either “in Adam”, still in our sin and opposition to God, or we are “in Christ”, brought into the kingdom of the Son God loves v13.
Jesus is also Head of his the church, the new creation. He has brought to an end the alienation of believers from God. By his death he has reconciled them to God. They were estranged from him, now they have the hope of glory.
In the last verse today Paul challenges them again to endure, to persevere as believers, as he had prayed for them in verse 11.
This Jesus, the perfect image and Son of God, is the one we worship, and the one who will fulfil all the hopes and dreams of creation. The complete fulfilment will come when Christ returns. The Apostle John says:
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!’” Revelation 5.13