Jesus: Eternal Creator

July 14th, 2009

Colossians 1:15-17

1:15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
1:16. 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.
1:17. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

The great thing we have about the Bible is that we can read God's word in human language. The trouble with it is that human language is sometimes barely adequate to describe things in this world, and has trouble describing things on a spiritual, or Godly level. The Bible teaches that there is only one God, God is one. Christian teaching claims that Jesus is God. In describing such things words are used to describe, as best as possible, images and concepts that humans can understand. There are people who stumble over the language of calling Jesus a "firstborn", or if he is his own person, how can he also be God. It can be hard to understand. Teachings like this have their root in the things that Jesus taught, and what the Old Testament hints at.

In verse 15 we find that Jesus is the image, or icon of God. God is spirit and invisible. Moses was told that nobody has ever seen the face of God, and nobody can and live. Have you ever wondered what God looked like? old testament prophets did. I've wondered that many times, and I'm sure most people have. If God had a tangible form that we could see, if God was to let people see him face to face, he would look like Jesus. The image of God that we can touch, taste, smell, see and hear.

God himself is invisible. In these few verses, between the words visible and invisible, there are three times they appear. Each one is based on a word that means to gaze at. Basically God is a being that exists. He is real, but we just can't see him. A saying pops into my mind, "There's gold in them thar hills!" The gold in the hills is real. You know it's there. You can't see it. If you dig in the dirt long enough, or stand in the river with a pan and sort through enough rocks, you'll find it and be able to see it. It already existed, but wasn't visible. That's one way to think about God.It's just that when we do get to gaze at him, we'll have to wait until we're dead. Until then, we have Jesus.

Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Some people stumble over this. If Jesus is firstborn, who birthed him? Who are his parents? The more literal way this phrase might be read is "firstborn over all creation." He is the first, tangible, touchable, person, place or thing before anything we have in our current created universe. Paul says that he existed first, because as in the verses that begin the gospel of John, Jesus is the one who created all things.

Verse 16. He created everything in the heavens and earth. Not just the birds, bats, and bugs, but also the moon, stars, and galaxies. He created everything we see. Even the unseeable. Things too small to be seen like molecules and atoms. Things that are'nt viewable because they are hidden, like the gold in those hills.

The way that works best for me to understand creation is that it is like a river. All of creation is contained in the river including the water itself. It flows, twists, turns, and teems with life. It all had to start someplace. The place is Jesus. The molecules of water, the DNA, all the elements and support systems for life had to be created. Jesus stands at the head of the riverputting the building blocks of creation and life into the river. There are those who believe there is no God. They believe there is nothing else except the river. In my comparison we know that a river is only part of our world. There are things outside the river. Things that can never be known for those who are still in the river. As vast as the earth is on the outside of the river is something like how vast heaven is outside our universe.

All things that he has been creating are through him and in him. In other words, he is still creating. He creates a new attitude in us as we come to know him. It all comes through him and is in him and the purpose is to suit his own desires.

Paul wraps up his words about Jesus by stating that he is before all things. He got here first. He is the person, the force that caused things to be constituted together. He is the gravitational pull that keeps things solid, focused and staying together.

Jesus is more than a man. He is eternal. He existed beforehand and created. He will exist and be waiting at the end of his creation.

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