Colossians 1:15-20: A Fuller Understanding of Jesus

Colossians 1:15-20
15The Son is the image of the invisible God,
the one who is first over all creation,
16 Because all things were created by him:
both in the heavens and on the earth,
the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
Whether they are thrones or powers,
or rulers or authorities,
all things were created through him and for him.
17 He existed before all things,
and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
the one who is firstborn from among the dead
so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
19 Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
20  and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
whether things on earth or in the heavens.
He brought peace through the blood of his cross.

The Real World
I just dropped off my son at daycare, and I sit in traffic on the way to work. The light for the turn lane turns green and nobody moves. Most likely, the driver of the front car is looking at his phone. The car behind me feels that a 10 second horn blast is sufficient to alert the front driver of his failure. The front driver finally jerks into motion, but he spares a withering glance at me in the rearview mirror because he assumes I am the honker. Of course, since he took so long to move, I miss the light.

So there I sit, annoyed with the distracted driver in front of me, annoyed with the rude driver behind me, and feeling helpless as I’m blamed for something I didn’t do while still being stuck at the same light. Life can be tedious. Life can be mundane. But then I come across a passage like this (audio bible, of course).

Who do you say that I am?
Many scholars assume this passage is an early church hymn. It celebrates what they really thought about who Jesus was—Son of God, died for our sins, but so much more. It takes a peek behind the supernatural curtain and recognizes Jesus as the 2nd person of the eternal Godhead, involved in making the universe, involved in keeping the universe in motion, involved in remaking the world. It also reveals the truth of the visible world, explaining how Jesus revealed God to us, how he brought the fullness of God to us.

And it celebrates how his cross and resurrection use all the cosmic power and planning to return healing and beauty to our broken, frustrating, boring, and mundane world.
Jesus asked Peter who he thought Jesus was. Peter answered that he was the Messiah (Israel’s savior king) and the son of the living God. But Peter, before the resurrection, probably had no idea how far the mystery went.

The Fullness Of God
To reiterate, Jesus is involved in the Big Bang; he’s the strings holding the universe together, and he’s the power that will rein in the chaos and entropy of the universe and right every wrong. And we’re called to participate in that. We’re called to be filled with the fullness of God and let him use us to put this world back together.

I can sit through another turn light if only to meditate on this high calling and the even higher being that calls us.

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