Colossians 1: Jesus’ Deity

  • Read Colossians 1:15-20 here.
  • If you missed Sunday’s sermon (17 October), you can listen to it here.

Most scholars agree that Colossians 1:15-20 are a piece of poetry or a hymn that Paul wrote or inserted to praise the greatness of Christ.  Regardless of the initial author, their inclusion in the letter by Paul allows us to study this passage as Scripture.  Paul breaks into song for a reason: He’s awed by the majesty and humility of Jesus.  (Of course, there’s also the pastoral concern that the Colossian Christians needed to be reminded of the supremacy of Christ.)

I don’t think there’s a lot I can add to this passage, so I’ll just go ahead and list the descriptions of Jesus that Paul gives.

THE SON OF GOD IS:

  • The image of the invisible God;
  • The firstborn over all creation;
  • In him all things were created:
  • . things in heaven and on earth;
  • . things visible and invisible;
  • . including thrones and powers;
  • . as well as rulers and authorities;
  • All things have been created through him,
  • All things have been created for him.
  • He is before all things.
  • He holds all things together.
  • He is the head of the church.
  • He is the beginning,
  • He is the firstborn from among the dead;
  • He has supremacy in everything.
  • The fullness of God dwells in the Son.
  • Through Jesus, God has reconciled all things to himself:
  • . things on earth and things in heaven;
  • His blood shed on the cross has brought peace to Creation.

What an amazing list.  How do you respond to a description like this?  This is my brother!  This is my Saviour!  I have received indescribable blessings and grace beyond measure.

Although this passage doesn’t explicitly make the trinitarian statement that “Jesus is fully God, and equal with the Father”, I have difficulty reading this passage and understanding a lesser relationship for Jesus.  [eg. Jesus is the highest angel or first created being]  Particularly when paired with 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…

  • As you read Paul’s description of Jesus, do any particular characteristics grab your attention?
  • I am not dogmatic that everyone has to understand Gen 1-3 as a literal description of Creation in seven 24 hour days, although I believe it myself.  How does linking the person of Christ with Creation influence your view of Creation one way or another?  If at all.
  • Have you ever tried to put together a list like this?
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One comment

  1. Pingback: Finding a Secret Song in Colossians | Peter's Patter

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