Paul had heard that there had been some trouble in Colossae. False teachers had been confusing the church, trying to downgrade the importance of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul sets everybody straight about the true person of Jesus, with a list of characteristics that prove that he was different from any other person who ever lived (Colossians 1:15-20).
One translation of the Bible begins the next verse (21) with, “And you . . . “, referring to the Colossians themselves. A comparison is coming! And, considering the awesomeness of Jesus Christ as demonstrated in the previous verses, we might be tempted, with the psalmist, to ask God, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4).
Here is Jesus, the image of the invisible God, head of the Church, firstborn from among the dead, reconciler, redeemer, saviour.
The comparison does not begin well. Once, Paul says, we were alienated from God. We were enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour. BUT – and it’s a wonderful ‘but’ – all that is now changed because of Jesus Christ! This same Jesus, whose glory is described in verses 15-20, has reconciled us to God by his death, and now presents us “holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation”.
Our value is in Christ. Our worth is secure in him. Apart from Jesus, we might look at ourselves and see all sorts of negativity, but with Jesus, everything changes. This doesn’t mean that we, or our lives, suddenly become perfect. In verse 24, Paul mentions his sufferings for the sake of the church, so it’s clear that even he didn’t have everything easy. But Paul knew that, as long as he continued in the faith, he would one day be presented before God as holy, clean and blameless, because of Jesus.
Our Lord Jesus is worthy of praise! Give thanks to him today!