Who is Jesus? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Some say he’s a prophet. Others imply Jesus is just a man who had some wise things to say. Some say He is a charlatan who could fool people into thinking He did miracles by hypnosis and sleight of hand (although these people cannot explain how healing someone can be done through trickery).
The Apostle Paul paints a very different picture of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20. These verses contain four great teachings that identify who Jesus is. They reveal a man who is much more than just the prophet or teacher as some claim.
These verses are actually a hymn the early church used to sing in worship. The church, before 100AD, used hymns as teaching and worship devices to help them understand the great truths being taught by the Apostles. Paul uses several of these hymns in his writings. I Corinthians 15, Philippians 2, and Colossians 1 are just a few examples of this.
Colossians 1:15-20 presents Jesus, first, as the very image of God. The Greek word used for image is EIKON which means an exact representation. Jesus is the visible form of the invisible God. God is a spirit whom we cannot see. Jesus, however, we can relate to because He is one of us. Jesus is God in the flesh.
Second, Paul presents Jesus as the creator and sustainer of all things. In the beginning Jesus was there, forming the world. It is created by Him and is created for Him as well. He made it and He owns it. He also sustains it; keeping its systems running.
Third, Jesus is the Head of the Church. The church is not a democracy, it is a monarchy led by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus. The leaders of the church are not to seek the consensus of the majority of the congregation but are to follow the will of the King. When this is done the church is healthy and can grow. When the goal of church leadership is simply to appease those in the pews, the church suffers because it is out of touch with its head, Jesus.
Finally, Jesus is the reconciler of all. The word Paul uses for reconcile is APAKATALLASSO. It refers to the process of a husband reconciling to an estranged wife. We separated ourselves from God through our sin. We can no longer be in His presence because of it. Jesus reconciles us to God through His blood shed on the cross. He reconciles us to God by paying the penalty for our sins thus presenting us before God blameless in His sight.
Jesus is much more than many give Him credit for today. He is God in the flesh. He is the creator, owner, and sustainer of all creation. He is the Head of the Church. He is the one who reconciles us to God. His importance to us cannot be overstated. Without Him we would have no hope!
Rob Morton is minister of First Christian Church Middlesboro. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.