When it comes to describing the person of Jesus Christ, Paul reaches into the depths of his personal experience with the Savior and exudes expressions of His glory. He writes a portrait of the Lord of Glory to a church he did not plant and had never seen. It seems that Epaphras was the disciple who carried the gospel to Colossae and established a church there (Colossians 1:7). During its early stages of formation, false teachers sought to corrupt their understanding of the person of Christ which prompted Paul to write them so they would be unified and strengthened in His Person.
“He is the image of the invisible God” (1:15). What is the “image” of something? It is the exact representation of that which is being represented and has the same characteristics in every sense. Exodus 20:4 prohibits making “for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Anything in that list is something that is made according to the imagination of man and by man.
Jesus came from God the Father (John 3:2; 8:43; 16:27) and derived nothing from man. Even at the announcement of His birth, Mary questioned how she could conceive since she was a virgin? The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35). When Philip wanted to see the Father, Jesus said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father…Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?” (John 14:9-10).
The glorious but foundational truth about the person of Jesus, the Person who stopped Saul on the Damascus road, Paul wanted to protect in the minds and hearts of the Colossians. Are you doing the same where you are? Make sure He is exalted to the highest place He deserves in your thoughts and conversations this Christmas season and always!
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