We often think of the firstborn as the order that siblings are born in a family. This word “firstborn” that Paul uses in Colossians 1:15 (“the firstborn of all creation”) means “existing before creation”. The phrase helps us understand that Jesus is both first or before all creation in term of time, and according to Genesis 1 where time began, Jesus is before time. He is also first in rank and over all things. This is confirmed in Ephesians 1:22, “And He [God] put all things under His [Jesus] feet and gave Him [Jesus] as head over all things to the church.”
It was the ancient custom that the firstborn in a family was given rights and privileges that were not shared by anyone else in the family. The firstborn was the father’s representative and heir and had the responsibility to manage the household. In the same way “Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are His house” (Hebrews 3:6). Not only are we to submit to His authority because Christ is over God’s household, but God planned that everyone in the household “be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).
If angels are told to worship Jesus Christ as the firstborn (Hebrews 1:6; Psalm 97:7), should not we excel in doing the same? This place was given to Him by God and deserves our worship. Jesus received worship at His birth; “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14). Worship Christ the Firstborn of ALL!
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