Preeminence of Christ

Colossians States the Jesus Christ is The Image of the Invisible God

In Colossians chapter 1, a stunning section of Scripture crescendos to verse 18, expressing God's desire and priority throughout the ages, that in all things, Jesus Christ, is the preeminent One. Preeminent means superior to or notable above all others; superiority in excellence; distinction above others in quality, rank, etc. Jesus Christ earned this exalted status.

Colossians 1:15 states that Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God.” The Amplified Bible says, “he is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]” and the New Living Translation renders it, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” The Greek word for image is eikon, from which comes the English word, icon. It simply means likeness, representation or picture.

Paul also wrote to the Corinthians that Jesus is the “image of God” in 2 Corinthians 4:4, and the writer of Hebrews wrote clearly that Jesus is “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.” (Hebrews 1:3) These words, 'express image,' are one Greek word, character. Literally, this word refers to something engraved or impressed, the image impressed corresponding exactly with the original. The Amplified Bible gives this: “He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power.” Jesus Christ “expresses the very character of God,” or “shows exactly what God is like.” (New Living Translation and New Century Version)

One definition of character is the inherent composite of qualities that determines a person's moral and ethical actions and reactions. This applies in this consideration because God was literally Jesus' Father. God literally implanted the perfect seed containing perfect chromosomes in Mary, as Luke 1:35 teaches. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Jesus Christ Himself said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” in John 14:9. Jesus demonstrated the perfection and nature of the person of God. Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:19,22,23)

Colossians 1:19 says that God was pleased to have all of His fullness dwelling in Jesus Christ. This truth is reiterated as a rock-solid incontestable reality in 2:9. The Amplified Bible clearly states: “For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].” The New International Readers Version simplifies yet still presents the heart and essence of the truth. “God's whole nature is living in Christ in human form.”

Jesus Christ lived and manifested the love of the Father as well as His mercy. Jesus showed God's anger at injustice, God's grace to sinners, and God's hatred of hypocrisy. Jesus preached the Gospel to the poor, healed the brokenhearted, proclaimed liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and set at liberty those who were oppressed. On and within Jesus was the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, and the Spirit of knowledge. Jesus mirrored God's character perfectly.

Jesus Christ surpassed everyone who had preceded Him. Enoch and Noah walked with God. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness, and he was willing to sacrifice his own son, believing that God would raise him from the dead. Moses was faithful, almost perfectly, leading Israel for 40 years and giving to them the Law of God. Joshua was mighty and led the people of Israel into the Promised Land.

David was a man after God's own heart and Solomon foreshadowed Jesus as the king of kings over a united Israel at its apex. The prophets were daring and courageous, willing to give their lives to speak God's Word to His people. But Jesus was the One they all looked to and waited for, the Promised Seed of the woman, the root and offspring of David, the savior of God's people, the one among a thousand, the true shepherd, the desire of all nations, the Lord of lords and King of kings. Jesus is the preeminent One, superior to all others.

Written by: Pete Miller