Colossians 1 (post 2 of 3)
“And he is BEFORE ALL THINGS…in him all things hold together…he is the head of the body, the church…he is the beginning…he is preeminent in everything.” (Colossians 1:17-18)
Our culture doesn’t like to put other people first. We follow leaders only as long as they don’t disrupt our comfort or individual goals.
“I’ve discovered that the less some people know about Christ the more they like Him. The baby in the manger touches even the most cynical soul who has long since given up on religion. The secularist who is bent on reforming society quotes selected verses from the Sermon on the Mount with reverence. And the religious types use Him as their example of humility, sacrifice, and basic goodness. He is worthy to be spoken about in hushed tones. He is, say some, the first among equals. Yet in all this He is often dammed by faint praise. Since Christ said that the world would hate Him, we can be quite sure that when the world loves Him it is because they have made Him into something He is not. The biblical Christ cannot be dismissed; He stands in our path forcing us to make a decision, either to the right or to the left. In His presence neutrality is impossible. The babe in the manger quickly grows to become God, the King.” (Reference: Paul’s Letter to the Colossians: An Exegetical and Devotional).
Unfortunately this powerfully, and sadly, represents what Jesus has become to many of us. We love Him as long as He fits our narrative. We love pieces and parts of Him that can be used to our advantage. We want Him… and we want the world.
But that isn’t how it works with God. He is first. He is before all things. He is preeminent. He will not take second place, because He can’t. And with Jesus as the head, everything flows from that vantage point, not in addition to, or in conflict with, it. We don’t have a little bit of Jesus here, and a little bit of sin there…nice and separate and compartmentalized.
Jesus is before all things in time and priority. Not only is he first, he is the beginning, the end, and what holds everything together in between. The Amplified translation says, “He is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.” Things fall apart when what holds them together is diminished. They start to slip, change shape, and ultimately are destroyed completely... unrecognizable and not at all what they were intended to be.
Jesus has to be first. Not one of many, but THE ONE supreme and preeminent. Not one of many ways we can be saved, but the ONLY way we can be saved. Not one of many ways to God, but the ONLY way to God.
God, may we never hold on to anything more tightly than You. May we always put You in Your rightful place...FIRST. Before ALL things.
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