Week of January 20 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Colossians 1:15-23

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Reflect: What do you learn about Jesus in this passage? How do you fit in to the story of Jesus?

Consider: Jesus is the image of God. The word for image was used in Paul’s time for likenesses placed on coins, portraits, and for statues. It carries the idea of correspondence to the original. It is the nearest equivalent in ancient Greek to our modern photograph. Jesus is the perfect representation of God. This verse and others (John 1:18; 1 Tim. 1:17) tell us that God is invisible. J. B. Phillips translates verse 15, “Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God.” Hebrews 1:3 tells us that the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.4

Respond: How does Jesus’ being before, being in, and being first bear significance upon your life? What does it mean for Jesus to have first place in your life?

4 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 283.