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Jesus made radical claims concerning Himself. He claimed to be equal with God (Jn. 5:17,18), and He said we can approach God only through Him: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). Just before His ascension, He went so far as to say, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mt. 28:18). No sane and sober man has ever made such all-encompassing claims for himself.
What all of this means is that if Jesus' claims are true, then He is the unrivaled sovereign over the entire creation. Unequalled in His authority, Jesus Christ is the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19:16). "In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col. 2:9). This week, let's make this wonderful and important truth our meditation. Jesus Christ is preeminent over all things in our relationship to God.
As God "incarnate" (which means "in the flesh"), Jesus Christ perfectly represents God to mankind. He is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). Things about God that would otherwise be incomprehensible become understandable when we see them illustrated in the human form of Jesus. The Hebrew writer said that He is "the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature" (Hb. 1:3). The nature of God is explained to us in His Son, Jesus Christ: "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known" (Jn. 1:18). Jesus was not only like God, He was God!
These truths are interesting, no doubt. But when we consider the matter of our alienation from God in sin, they become not just interesting but essential to life. It is only in Jesus Christ, the preeminent One, that we can have "redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:14). If we turn away from Him, there is nowhere else to go for the thing we need most of all: eternal life. The forgiveness of our sins and the restoration of our rightful relationship with God are impossible outside of Christ. So Peter's answer was right when the Lord asked if he and the other apostles were going to leave Him like the others who had turned away: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn. 6:67,68). Jesus is the "preeminent" source of our salvation!
Monday: Colossians 1:15-17
Key Idea: Jesus Christ is "the firstborn of all creation."
Questions for Family Growth: Was Jesus the first thing God created? Consider Jn. 1:1-3. If not, what does it mean that He is the "firstborn of all creation"? What do you think it means that "all things were created through him and for him" (v.16)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:8.
Tuesday: Colossians 1:18
Key Idea: Jesus Christ is "the head of the body, the church."
Questions for Family Growth: Putting this passage together with Eph. 1:22,23, what things do we learn about the relationship of Jesus Christ to the church? What privileges does the "head" of the body have? How much authority does Jesus have over the church?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:9.
Wednesday: Colossians 1:18
Key Idea: Jesus Christ is "the firstborn from the dead."
Questions for Family Growth: What makes Jesus Christ the "firstborn" from the dead? Weren't other people raised from the dead before Him? What does the word "preeminent" mean when it is used to describe Jesus' resurrection?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:10.
Thursday: Colossians 1:19; 2:9
Key Idea: In Jesus Christ "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell."
Questions for Family Growth: What does the word "incarnate" mean? What does Jn. 1:14 teach us? Is there anything about the Godhead that does not reside in Jesus Christ? Was Jesus the Son any less "God" than God the Father?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:11.
Friday: Colossians 1:20
Key Idea: In Jesus Christ all things are "reconciled" to God.
Questions for Family Growth: Is it possible to be saved from our sins by means of anything outside of Jesus Christ? What do we learn from Jn. 14:6 and Ac. 4:12? How would you describe that it means to be "reconciled" to God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:12.