Whenever my thoughts flood with questions about why, and who, and what, and what my role, if any, is in all of those things, I go sit on the back patio. It’s a place that allows those myriad thoughts to rise up and float away into the upper atmosphere. It’s not that I’m trying to get rid of them. No, ma’am. I’m allowing the delusion of responsibility to take flight. The kinds of things my ego tells me I can control are far and away beyond my pay grade.
So what’s a woman who’s just trying to get to work every day do to help bring healing in a world that’s losing its mind? Lay low? Take cover? Avoid contact with other humans who now look at everyone else with suspicion and abhorrence should they not mirror back to them agreement with whatever their perspective is on reality and the obvious solutions they espouse, mostly having to do with things that could ultimately lead to violent alienation or worse? I’m just saying. The degree of disdain people now have for “the other guys” can only lead to very bad things. We’ve lost our capacity to relate…converse…understand…and love our enemies.
But I’m not worried. I have Jesus.
Okay, I hear you laughing. You’re thinking “what a naive dolt she is, believing all that Jesus stuff. Aren’t those judgmental and oppressive Christians part of the problem too?” I didn’t say they aren’t part of the problem. I said I have Jesus. The Christians are another topic for another day. Today the topic is Jesus.
And yes, I’m a Christian. If you look at my life and how often I fail, you’ll know why I said that Christians are part of the problem.
The whole patio thing works because of Jesus. When the questions rise up and float to the upper atmosphere, they leave behind a clear space within which He remains. And I remember certain things about Him.
First, He is all in all. Colossians is my go-to book when I need a little reminding about Who He is.
Second, He revealed Himself to us in very specific ways. If we study His life in the gospels, we can gain a better understanding of what He experienced during His ministry and why He made the choices He made, and did the things He did. The historical context of His ministry can help us see how He responded to the challenges He faced; challenges not much different from those of today.
Third, He desires that we share in His work, which means we must agree with Him. Paul writes in I Corinthians 2:16 that we as Christians have “the mind of Christ.” We just don’t always let Him have His way.
So for this post, I’ll address the first point, which is the most important point. You see, I don’t think people really understand Who Jesus is. So, here’s a short and shallow word study of Colossians 1: 15-20, a passage that packs a real punch. The following notes contain quotes from, or are supported by, my go-to Greek word study reference:
- He is the image of the invisible God.
This doesn’t mean that Jesus looks like God. It means that He embodies the essential truth or verity of God. And…he is the bodily visible manifestation of the invisible God. When Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who as seen me has seen the Father;…” Jesus “revealed” the Father.
- He is the firstborn of all creation.
Jesus wasn’t “born” as a part of creation. He is eternally preexistent, meaning He’s born before the creation.
- By Him, all things were created through Him and for Him.
All things includes:
- Visible things
- Invisible things
- Thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities (both visible and invisible, earthly and celestial)
He is sovereign over all creation and exalted above all thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities. I, for one, find this very comforting.
All creation (all things) originated from in Him: within the sphere of His personality reside the creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Creation was dependent upon Him. The scope of “all things” means just that: the universe of things both visible and invisible, including our souls.
Finally, all things created in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him.
- He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
This is where my brain starts exploding and I raise the white flag of surrender. First off, the first two words, “He is,” is an emphatic statement of His existence. He is a person Who exists.
Second, He is before all things in time, meaning He has existed always, before time began. It’s easier for me to grasp this when I remember that eternity is not bound by the dimension of time. Neither is God. Time is a dimension we live within while we press forward on this side of the veil. We understand our lives within the context of time, and we often believe we don’t have enough. Eternity takes care of those constraints.
Third, “He, the All-powerful, All-Holy Word of the Father, spreads His power over all things everywhere, enlightening things seen and unseen, holding and binding all together in Himself. Nothing is left empty of His presence, but to all things and through all, severally and collectively He is the giver and sustainer of life… He, the Wisdom of God, holds the universe in tune together. He it is who, binding all with each, and ordering all things by His will and pleasure, produces the perfect unity of nature and the harmonious reign of law. While He abides unmoved forever with the Father, He yet moves all things by His own appointment according to the Father’s will” (Athanasius).
- He is the head of the body, the church.
The church is often metaphorically described as a body composed of many parts. The head of that body is Jesus Christ, as it can only be Him.
- He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that in everything He might be preeminent.
Jesus is the essential origin of the beginning of the new life, which subsists in the body – the Church. As the first-born of the dead from the dead by His resurrection, He is the beginning of the new spiritual life. In all things universally and in the Church, Jesus gains pre-eminence (in time) through His incarnation and passion (crucifixion), as He is head of the universe in virtue of His absolute and eternal being.
- In Jesus all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
The fullness of God is the sum total of the divine powers and attributes. In other words, in Christ dwelt all the fullness of God as deity. To sum it all up, He is the image of God, the first-born of all creation, Creator, the eternally preexistent, the Head of the Church, the victor over death, and first in all things.
- Finally, God through Jesus reconciled to Himself all things on earth and in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.
It’s a lot, I know. But after all, He’s infinite so what can I say? Hopefully these 1300 or so inadequate words have whetted your appetite to know more. Personally, this is the kind of work that leaves me more peaceful, less fearful, and ready to take on what He wants me to do tomorrow.
 14 But [a]a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually [b]appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
 Cited, M. A. (1887). Vincent’s Word Studies of the New Testament III The Epistles of Paul (Vol. III). (D. Marvin R. Vincent, Ed.) Mclean, VA, United States: MacDonald Publishing Company.