Colossians 1:15-17 - JESUS the GOD-MAN.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NKJV) He is the image of 
the invisible God, the firstborn over all 
creation. For by Him all things were created that are 
in heaven and that are on earth, visible and 
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or 
principalities or powers. All things were created through 
Him and for Him. And He is before all things, 
and in Him all things consist. 

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV) He is the image of 
the invisible God, the firstborn over all 
creation. 16 For by him all things were created: 
things in heaven and on earth, visible and 
invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or 
authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 
17 He is before all things, and in him all 
things hold together. 

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Christ is the 
visible image of the invisible God. He existed 
before anything was created and is supreme over all 
creation, for through him God created everything in 
the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the 
things we can see and the things we cant see - 
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and 
authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created 
through him and for him. He existed before anything 
else, and he holds all creation together.  

Colossians 1:15-17 (MSG) We look at this Son 
and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at 
this Son and see God's original purpose in 
everything created. For everything, absolutely 
everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank 
after rank after rank of angels - everything got 
started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was 
there before any of it came into existence and 
holds it all together right up to this moment.  



Christ is called the "image of God" here and 
in 2Co 4:4. In Heb. 1:3 he is described as the 
"radiance of God's glory and the exact representation 
of his being." This figure of the image 
suggests two truths: (1) God is invisible ("no one 
has ever seen God," Jn. 1:18); (2) Christ, who 
is the eternal Son of God and who became the 
God-man, reflects and reveals him (see also Jn. 1:18; 
14:9). [Life Application SB] 

The Greek word for "image" means "copy" or 
"likeness." Jesus Christ is the perfect image - the 
exact likeness - of God and is in the very form of 
God (Phil. 2:6; John 1:14; 14:9) and has been so 
from all eternity. By describing Jesus in this 
manner, Paul emphasizes that He is both the 
representation and manifestation of God. Thus, He is fully 
God in every way (2:9; John 8:58; 10:30-33; Heb. 
1:8). [MacArthur Daily Bible 2003] 


"Firstborn over all creation" (Col. 1:15) 
does not mean Jesus was a created being and not 
eternal God, nor does "firstborn from the dead" (v. 
18) mean He was the first one raised from the 
dead. Firstborn is a term of honor and means "the 
highest, of first rank and importance." Jesus was 
prior to all creation (John 1:1-3) and is the 
highest in creation. He is the highest of all who 
were raised from the dead (Rev. 1:17-18). 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 

   "The firstborn over all creation." The 
Greek word for "firstborn" can refer to one who 
was born first chronologically, but most often 
refers to preeminence in position or rank (Heb. 
1:6; Rom. 8:29). In both Greek and Jewish 
culture, the firstborn was the ranking son who had 
received the right of inheritance from his father, 
whether he was born first or not. It is used of 
Israel who, not being the first nation, was however 
the preeminent nation (Ex. 4:22; Jer. 31:9). 
Firstborn in this context clearly means highest in 
rank, not first created (Ps. 89:27; Rev. 1:5) for 
several reasons: 
   1. Christ cannot be both "first begotten" 
and "only begotten" (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 
John  4.9); 
   2. when the "firstborn" is one of a 
class, the class is in the plural form (v. 18; Rom. 
8:29), but "creation," the class here, is in a 
singular form; 
   3. if Paul was teaching that Christ was a 
created being, he was agreeing with the heresy he 
was writing to refute; and 
   4. it is impossible for Christ to be both 
created and the Creator of everything (v. 16). 
   Thus Jesus is the firstborn in the sense 
that He has the preeminence (v. 18) and possesses 
the right of inheritance "over all creation" 
(Heb. 1:2; Rev. 5:1-7, 13). He existed before the 
creation and is exalted in rank above it. [MacArthur 
Daily Bible 2003] 


Col 1:15-20 Perhaps an early Christian hymn 
(see note on 3:16) on the supremacy of 
Christ--used here by Paul to counteract the false 
teaching at Colosse. It is divided into two parts: 
(1) Christ's supremacy in creation (vv. 15-17); 
(2) Christ's supremacy in redemption (vv. 
18-20). [NIV SB] 

This is one of the strongest statements 
about the divine nature of Christ found anywhere 
in the Bible. Jesus is not only equal to God 
(Philip. 2:6), he 'is' God (John 10:30, 38; 12:45; 
14:1-11); as the image of the invisible God, he is the 
exact representation of God. He not only reflects 
God, but he reveals God to us (John 1:18; 14:9); 
as the firstborn over all creation, he has all 
the priority and authority of the firstborn 
prince in a king's household. He came from heaven, 
not from the dust of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47), 
and he is Lord of all (Romans 9:5; 10:11-13; 
Rev. 1:5; 17:14). He is completely holy (Hebrews 
7:26-28; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5), and he has 
authority to judge the world (Romans 2:16; 2 Cor. 
5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1). Therefore, Christ is supreme 
over all creation, including the spirit world. 
We, like the Colossian believers, must believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ (that Jesus is 
God) or our Christian faith is hollow, 
misdirected, and meaningless. This is a central truth of 
Christianity. We must oppose those who say that Jesus was 
merely a prophet or a good teacher.  [Life 
Application SB] 

The Four Great Christological Passages.
(vv. 15-20) These verses, one of the four 
great Christological passages of the N.T. are 
probably an early Christian hymn (cf. Phil. 2:6-11, 
note). In this text, and the verses that follow, 
the lordship of Christ is affirmed as existing 
over creation, the church, and the individual 
Christian. He truly is the cosmic Christ. Christ's 
likeness or "image" (eikon, Gk.) to God is so genuine 
that it provides man with a perfect manifestation 
and exact representation of God. In the person 
of Jesus Christ incarnate, we see a revelation 
of the invisible God. "Firstborn" (prototokos, 
Gk.) indicates that the historic Jesus was none 
other than the preexistent Christ, who is 
coeternal with the Father. The terminology "firstborn" 
is a reference to priority of position. It is a 
term that emphasizes quality or kind, not time. 
The idea of "preeminence" conveys the meaning of 
the term. Each person who is saved becomes a son 
of God by adoption; nonetheless, because of His 
deity, the Son has a priority of position over all 
others (who are children by adoption rather than 
begetting), and, in fact, over all the created order. 
[Believers SB] 


   As science and technology advance, so 
does our understanding of God's design for our 
bodies and the world around us. In 1979 scientists 
Rupert Timpl and George R Martin discovered a 
substance they called laminin. Think of it as body 
glue. Basically, laminin holds our cells together. 
Without laminin every tissue of every living thing 
wouldn't stay together. It's a microscopic key to our 
   In a paper published in the Journal of 
Biological Chemistry, Timpl and Martin said laminin 
"consisted of at least two polypeptide chains joined to 
each other by disulfide bonds." Say what? While 
the science sounds confusing, when you see what 
laminin looks like, its power becomes clear. 
Scientists who study the human cell under incredibly 
powerful electron microscopes have found that all 
laminins discovered so far are in a cross-like shape. 
So the protein that holds our cells together 
looks like a cross. 
      Pastor Louie Giglio is a popular 
author and speaker who talks about  
      amazing creations that reflect God's 
handiwork. Search for "Louie  
      Giglio on YouTube for awesome 
information on laminin and more. 
   How crazy is that," said pastor Louie 
Giglio. "The stuff that holds our bodies together, 
that's holding the linings of your organs together, 
that's holding your skin on, is in the shape of the 
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
   God's design, love, and power display 
themselves in all of creation - even in places that the 
human eye cannot see. God's fingerprints are on 
everything. He even holds our bodies together with the 
symbol of his never-failing love. In Colossians 
1:16-17 the apostle Paul wrote, "For in him all 
things were created: things in heaven and on earth, 
visible and invisible. He is before all things, and 
in him all things hold together." Paul probably 
had no idea about laminin. But he had a 
rocksolid faith based on the cross of Jesus Christ. 
   As you go through life, you'll probably 
experience times of doubt in your Christian faith. You 
may hear a teacher discredit Christ, see a TV 
show that argues against Christianity, or 
experience a time when God feels far away. When that 
happens, remember to look at the cross. The cross 
holds our Christian faith together, just like 
cross-shaped laminin holds our cells together. Jesus gave 
his life so we can be forgiven and know God 
personally. Without the cross, we could never have that 
bond. So hold on to the cross, and hold close to 
   "For in him all things were created: 
things in heaven and on earth, visible and 
invisible. He is before all things, and in him all 
things hold together" Colossians 1:16 -17. [Case 
For Christ For Kids by Les Strobel] 


   If we want to see God, we can look at 
Christ. Those who lived during the Old Testament era 
sometimes saw the effects of God - a pillar of fire or 
a burning bush, for example - but we can see 
God himself in Jesus. Christ veiled God's glory 
in human flesh, but he came to unveil God's 
true nature. Jesus told Philip, "Anyone who has 
seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). The 
writer of Hebrews calls Jesus "the radiance of 
God's glory and the exact representation of his 
being" (Hebrews 1:3). And here in Colossians 1:15, 
Paul refers to him as "the image of the invisible 
   If we want to know about God, we need to 
learn about Jesus. If we want to see God, we can 
look at Jesus. And if we want to follow God, we 
have to follow Jesus. [NIV Once A Day Bible re 
Col. 1:15] 

   Who was the little baby in the manger we 
celebrate at Christmas? 
   Colossians 1:15 says, Christ is the 
visible image of the invisible God (NLT).  
   You've heard the phrase that, if you want 
something done right, do it yourself. God wanted to do 
the job of saving you right, so he came to earth 
himself. He didn't come as an avatar, an angel, or a 
prophet. God came as a person. He became the baby and 
then the man Jesus Christ.  
   People all around the world celebrate the 
little baby in the manger because that child is 
God, come to live with his people.  
   If you want to know what God is like, 
take a look at Jesus. 
   But Jesus didn't come simply to live. He 
came to die for your sins so that you can spend 
eternity with God. 
   Why was this necessary?
   Because even though God is a God of love, 
he is also a God of justice. Justice demands 
wrongs be righted. It demands that the debt of sin 
be paid for. 
   And, heaven is perfect, but were not. 
Because of that, we need a Savior. God gets 
imperfect people into heaven through grace. 
   The Good News of Christmas is that God 
gave the gift of his Son to pay for everything 
you have ever done wrong and offer you the grace 
to enter heaven.  
   The Bible says, When [Jesus] served as 
a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin 
problem for good - not only ours, but the whole 
worlds (1 John 2:1 The Message). 
   That gift will beat anything under your 
tree this year. You just need to accept it. 
[Daily Devotional by Rick Warren: 


   Christ is running the show. Right now. A 
leaf just fell from a tree in the Alps. Christ 
caused it to do so. A newborn baby in India inhaled 
for the first time. Jesus measured the breath. 
The migration of the belugas through the oceans? 
Christ dictates their itinerary. He is the 
firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were 
created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible 
and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or 
rulers or authorities - all things have been 
created through Him and for Him. (Col. 1:15"16) 
   What a phenomenal list! Heavens and 
earth. Visible and invisible. Thrones, dominions, 
rulers, and authorities. No thing, place, or person 
omitted. The scale on the sea urchin. The hair on the 
elephant hide. The hurricane that wrecks the coast, 
the rain that nourishes the desert, the 
infants first heartbeat, the elderly persons 
final breath - all can be traced back to the hand 
of Christ, the firstborn of creation. 
   Firstborn in Pauls vernacular has 
nothing to do with birth order. Firstborn refers to 
order of rank. As one translation states: He 
ranks higher than everything that has been made 
(v. 15) Everything? Find an exception. Peters 
mother-in-law has a fever; Jesus rebukes it. A tax needs 
to be paid; Jesus pays it by sending first a 
coin and then a fishermans hook into the mouth 
of a fish. When five thousand stomachs growl, 
Jesus renders a boys basket a bottomless 
buffet. Jesus exudes authority. He bats an eyelash, 
and nature jumps. No one argues when, at the end 
of his earthly life, the God-man declares, 
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and 
on earth (Matt. 28:18). 
   The Christ of the galaxies is the Christ 
of your Mondays. The Starmaker manages your 
travel schedule. Relax. You have a friend in high 
places. Does the child of Arnold Schwarzenegger 
worry about tight pickle-jar lids? Does the son of 
Nike founder Phil Knight sweat a broken 
shoestring? If the daughter of Bill Gates cant turn 
on her computer, does she panic? 
   No. Nor should you. [Max Lucado Daily 
Devotional at maxlucado.com] 

   Many people dread their work.  If 
youre one of them, try changing your attitude 
toward your work! Gods eyes fall on the work of 
our hands. One stay-at-home-mom keeps this sign 
over her sink:  Divine tasks performed here, 
daily.  Indeed, work can be worship. 
   Peter wrote, You are a chosen people.  
You are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, 
Gods very own possession.  This is so you can 
show others the goodness of God. (1 Peter 
2:9). So, let every detail in your life - your 
words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of 
the Master, Jesus. (Colossians 3:17). You 
dont drive to an office, you drive to a 
sanctuary. You dont attend a school, you attend a 
temple.  You may not wear a clerical collar, but you 
could, because your work is Gods pulpit! [Max 
Lucado Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com] 

   Once a doctor was awakened in the middle 
of the night by a phone call from a man to 
whose family he had not rendered medical treatment 
for quite some time.  
   "Doctor," said the excited man, "please 
come to my house right away. My wife is in great 
pain, and I'm sure it's appendicitis."  
   The doctor had been sleepily mulling over 
the medical history of the family and said, 
"Well now, it probably isn't anything like that. 
I'll come around first thing in the morning. 
Don't worry. It's probably just indigestion."  
   "But, Doctor, you've got to come now. I'm 
positive it's appendicitis," protested the alarmed 
   "Oh, come now, Mr. Johnson," the doctor 
said, somewhat irritably, "I took out your wife's 
appendix almost two years ago. You know as well as I 
do that she doesn't have another one."  
   "That's all true, Doctor," said the 
husband, "but I've got another wife!"  
   Sometimes things are not as they first 
appear. My German heritage blessed me with blonde 
hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. My best friend's 
American Indian background graced her with dark eyes, 
dark hair, and beautiful olive skin (I envy her). 
The strange thing is that people are always 
asking us if we are sisters. Go figure! After being 
best friends for twenty-five years, we have 
evidently grown to look alike, even though we think we 
look nothing alike.  
   Once, a woman in Harrods department store 
in London asked if we were twins. We just 
looked at each other and laughed. In fact, so many 
people have asked us through the years if we're 
sisters that we have just started saying yes. We 
are, after all, sisters in the Lord.  
   While it's fun for us to look alike, it 
is more vital that we grow to look like "the 
visible image of the invisible God" so others can 
find him too.  
   Dear God, please hear my prayer: I want 
to look like you, Lord. Just like you. Amen. 
[The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter by 
Mary Hollingsworth] 


Most people think that they get themselves 
up when they awake in the morning and dont 
realize that Jesus has touched them and given them 
life for another day.  [From a Christian I met in 
a Laundromat in Eufaula OK] 


The Passion of the Christ
   When I saw the movie The Passion of the 
Christ, I was struck by the brute cruelty with which 
the soldiers treated Jesus. Like a bunch of 
poorly paid drunken legionnaires, they couldn't 
wait to take out all their frustrations on, who 
they thought was, a stupid, luckless Jew. They 
beat and abused him mercilessly. 
   The face which Moses had begged to see - 
was forbidden to see - was slapped bloody 
(Exodus 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to 
curse the earth's rebellion now twisted around his 
brow. The back and the rear of Jesus' legs felt 
the whip - soon the body of the Savior would 
look like a plowed Judean field. By the time the 
spitting is through, more saliva is on Jesus than in 
him. When the soldiers raised the mallet to sink 
the spikes into Jesus' hands, it occurred to me 
that the Son of God whom they were crucifying was 
the very One sustaining their lives! Someone 
must sustain their lives minute-by-minute, for no 
man has this power on his own. Who supplies 
breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? 
Who holds a man's molecules together? Only by 
the Son do "all things hold together" 
(Colossians 1:17). How amazing, how incomprehensible 
that the Son, the victim, is granting breath and 
being to his own executioners! 
   Close your eyes and think deeply on the 
things you just read. Consider so great a Savior 
who would submit himself to such torture... for 
your salvation. Think of the cost and sacrifice 
involved in Jesus' crucifixion. Then, commit afresh 
and anew to live on a higher, more sanctified 
level as you trust and obey him with new resolve. 
Praise your Savior for granting you breath and 
being, as well as life eternal. 
   Dear Savior, I am awestruck that you did 
not turn away from the cross, but traveled the 
road to Calvary for me. May my life today reflect 
my love and devotion to you. [A Spectacle of 
Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby] 


   I am before all things, and in Me all 
things hold together. I have always been and will 
always be. All things were created by Me: things in 
heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. I am 
Lord over creation, over the church, over 
everything! Worship Me as your vibrant Lord, the living 
God. I want My loved ones to thirst for Me - as 
the deer pants for streams of water.  
   Do not be satisfied with only thinking 
about Me or knowing Me intellectually. Thirst for 
experiential knowledge of Me, grounded in sound biblical 
truth. Seek to know My Love that far surpasses mere 
knowledge. You will need the help of My Spirit to 
accomplish this.  
   You must be strengthened with mighty 
Power by the Holy Spirit, who indwells your 
innermost being and personality. Invite Him to empower 
and guide you in this amorous adventure. But 
remember that I am the goal of your searching - make 
Me central in your quest. You will seek Me and 
find Me when you search for Me with all your 
heart! (Col. 1:16, 17; Psa. 42:1, 2; Eph. 3:16-19 
AMP; Jer. 29:13) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 


The Chosen Special Christmas Episode

The Joy of Christmas with Bill & Gloria 
Gaither and Friends [YouTube Premiere] 
[watch Glorias testimony near the end at 
about 1:00:10 into the program] 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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