Who is Jesus?
Who is Jesus? How do you answer that question? There are some today who say Jesus was just a moral man, a popular prophet or a great teacher; but they stop well short of saying that Jesus is God! But to be clear, Jesus didn't give us the option to say He is anything less than God Himself! That is why the Apostle Paul writes… 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, Colossians 1:15
There appeared to be some serious heresy in the Colossian Church that questioned the deity of Christ; so Paul answers the important, life-changing, world-altering question, “Who is Jesus?” in Colossians 1:15-24.
1) Jesus is the image of the invisible God! (Col. 1:15)
Jesus gives us a clear glimpse of God… His character, His attributes, His goodness, His grace, His kindness, His love. When we read the gospels, dig into what Jesus says, see how He interacts with others, we get a clear image of who God is. This word “image” in the original language is “eikon”, which is where in English, we get the word “icon.” Like an icon gives us access to an app on our smart phones, Jesus give us access to God. Though Him I can fully see and access God!
This word “image” also means “copy” or “likeness”. Jesus is the perfect image - the exact likeness of God. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3
2) Jesus is the ruler over all creation who holds everything together! (Col. 1:16-17)
It is likely that some of the heresy in the Colossian Church had to do with Gnosticism or the worship of angels, which is why Paul makes direct reference to thrones, powers, rulers and authorities… Paul wanted to shut that teaching down by making sure that Believers know that Christ rules above everything as Creator, even heavenly beings, which He created. (1 Cor. 8:6; John 1:1-3)
Also note that Jesus holds everything together! Do you ever feel like your life is falling apart, in chaos, or ripping at the seams? Sure you do; we all go through seasons like that in life. When we have seasons like that, it is imperative for us to remember this truth… “in Him (Christ) all things hold together.” Notice what this verse doesn't say: “In (insert your name here) all things things hold together.”
The idea here is that Christ “holds all things together”, not you or me, no matter how much we may think this world, or the very tiny part of this world we live in, depends on us. We are totally and completely dependent on Him; that is true for us as Believers and it is true for those who don’t yet believe, whether they want to admit it or not!
3) Jesus is the leader of the church and the One who empowers us to be His witnesses! (Col. 1:18)
Paul uses this beautiful, inspired picture of the church as the body of Christ again and again in his letters. Jesus is the head of the church, but each of us has a vital role to play in the body. (1 Cor. 12:27)
In my study this week, I was reminded of the bold proclamation Jesus made following His resurrection. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
It is imperative that you and I know that, as His church, we will be His witnesses… but not just any witnesses, “powerful” witnesses. Witnesses testify about what they know and have seen. Our powerful witness as Christ-followers shows the world what transformed (not perfect) lives look like. As we say around Watermark, lives committed to making an impression and leaving a mark for Jesus Christ!
4) Jesus is the One who reconciles our broken relationship with God so we can be at peace with Him. (Col. 1:19-20)
There is nothing that brings more turmoil and chaos to our lives than a broken relationship. You know what I’m talking about because we have all been there. Relationships can get sticky and messy. We are all flawed and sometimes our flaws sabotage a relationship.
But the most important relationship that must be mended for us to experience true peace in life is the broken relationship we have with God caused by our sin. Without Christ, we are alienated from God— rebellious, sinful enemies completely separated from His presence. But God doesn’t want that. He loves us so much that He made a way for us to be in right relationship with Him… our broken relationship fully mended… a way for us to be at peace with Him. That comes only through Jesus shed blood on the cross.
The Bible makes clear the penalty of sin is death; not just a physical death, but an eternal death separated from God. But when Jesus went to the cross, He took on our penalty for us. By His blood, we were freed from the penalty of death, our broken relationship with God fully reconciled. (Col. 1:21-23)
By Christ’s death, we are made holy, the blemishes of sin are fully removed! We have been set free. Not free to sin again and again, but free from the penalty of sin; now free to live a faith-filled life, fully committed to Him. This is the gospel. It is the good news for you and me and everyone we know!
For much more, click here to listen to: Steadfast - Part 3: Who is Jesus?