Bro. Caleb Taft
Knowing our King | Colossians 1:15-20 "The Image of the invisible God"
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Paul is still speaking of Christ in the verses above. This epistle tells us more about who Christ is than any other epistle. Paul is writing to a group of believers that are being influenced by a cult known as Gnosticism. They believed that God created many spirits or emanations, and those emanations gave forth more emanations until some spirit far removed from God created the earth and that spirit was obviously evil since the earth has so much evil in it. Their teaching was that Christ was one of these emanations and even an important figure if you wanted to get to God, the obvious error that the gnostics made about Christ is not that he was a way to God but He is the only way to God and is God. In these verses, you can see how Paul is combating this error that arose in the Colossae church. This exact teaching may not be found in many churches you are familiar with but the same principle is found in many, that Christ is important but not sufficient, nor Preeminent. Churchs that promote salvation by works are falling into this same category, Christians who suppose that Christ saved them but now their works will keep them saved have also fallen into this same trap. May these verses of scripture reveal to you that Christ is the head of all things and is sufficient for all things, if your heart has been made new and clean by the creator of all things in heaven and earth then friend it will never have to be made over again.
He begins by saying that Jesus is the "image of the invisible God." While on this earth Jesus taught a valuable lesson to Philip. Philip told Jesus in John 14:8 "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." To which Jesus replies: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." Phillip was not sufficed with Jesus, He thought if he could see the father then he would be satisfied, all nagging doubts would be settled and it would "Suffice." Jesus begins to question Philips's beliefs concerning Jesus, "Believest thou not?" Philip had a misconstrued view of Jesus, as did some of them in Colossae, Jesus isn't just the way to God, but he is God, and seeing him means seeing the Father.
God is a Spirit and no man has seen God at any time but God took up a robe of flesh and walked the earth with his creatures, Emanuel, God with us. Jesus is God and here He is said to be "The image of the invisible God." Images are a perfect portrayal of the one they are likened after. Israel had a long-time affair with images, but those images of Baal, Astaroth, and the other Canaanite gods were inanimate and the work of a man's hand, likening a piece of wood or stone to the image of a false god. Those images had no breath, no life, no blood, and no passion for their subjects. But God, in due time formed a body, the perfect image of himself, he had breath and life and blood, perfect sinless blood that would redeem all his subjects. He was not formed by the hands or seed of man but The Holy Ghost overshadowed Mary in the fulness of time and the Image of the invisible God was formed by God Himself. Every image a man has created has had imperfections, but the image of the invisible God, Jesus Christ, was formed by the hand of the Perfect God, and Jesus himself was God! God in the flesh, He had arms that held the sick and poor, he had a heart that broke for his people, he had hands and feet that ministered to his people in his life and had spikes driven through them to minister to them in his death. It is no wonder images were so forbidden by God, Because the perfect image was coming, Jesus is the only image of God that is powerful to save, and I don't mean that caucasian man with long hair that the Roman Chruch has given to the world, or the sign of the cross. No, those are the images made by the hands of men. The living, breathing, dying, raising, ascended, and throned Christ is the image of the invisible God and there is no other!
Dear believer, you have never seen Jesus in the flesh as Philip did, but we have seen Him by the eye of faith. Jesus told Thomas "Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Don't think that you are at a disadvantage to the Apostles. Jesus said blessed are they who believe and have not seen. The same Jesus that walk the shores of Galilee, healed the sick, raised the dead, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and appeared to his disciples and many others, is the same Jesus that lives within our hearts. Perhaps you feel like you would be sufficed with a deeper experience or a broader knowledge, or a fuller revelation, and you would say like Philip, "It would suffice us." Have you been so long a time with Jesus and not seen him for who he is? Do you suppose there is anything greater or higher than Christ himself? When I received Christ I received the "Fulness of God" "The Image of God" and "The head of all principality and power! Jesus is "above all." There are so many people like Philip who are dissatisfied with their Christian life, assuming that there is some higher plain of living, turn your eyes upon Jesus and see him for who he is! Dear friend if Jesus doesn't satisfy you then you have a serious misconception of who he is. He is "The image of the invisible God."