The Preeminence of Christ
The New Testament breathes the preeminence of Christ throughout its pages, but some more than others. Here is an example of a passage of Scripture which pulls the curtain of our Lord’s humanity back that we may get a mere glimpse of his majesty. Hebrews 1:1-4 and John 1:1-4, 9-10 echo the teaching of Colossians 1:15-20: the Son is he through whom and for whom the Father created and redeemed the world.
He is called, “The image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Genesis 1 teaches that man was created in God’s image, but that is not what we mean here. As the next line teaches us, our Lord was not created of God but “born,” or better, “begotten,” of God. He is God’s Son by nature, not creation, which is why Hebrews can call him, “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (1:3). Humans beget humans, cats beget cats; if God shall beget anything, that thing can only be God as that is who and what God is.
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” In other words, all things were created by his agency. This passage thus expands upon Proverbs 8:22-31 where the Son is called “Wisdom,” the architect beside the Father, the word and plan by whom God created all things. But even more than this, the world was created “for” him, as if upon creation the Father gave the world to His Son as a gift; and why not being that it was created “through” him. And please note that nothing is excluded in all of creation as having been created through the means of any other agent. Some Colossians were fascinated by the existence of invisible beings which were given all sorts of names: thrones, dominions, powers, and such. Human beings are so easily taken by such things. Paul does not deny their existence; indeed, there are angels and demons, which is what we are discussing here, and the latter would love to have your worship. These demons are the false gods of this world, the idols men and woman have ever served.
But Paul would ask these Colossians, “Why have the creature when you can have the Creator?” We worship the One through whom and for whom all these were made. Your fleshly imagination deceives you into chasing shadows; we have the real thing. Christ is exalted above all, for he was and is and ever shall be before all (John 1:30).