I can’t imagine how St. Paul was able to write his letters. But for the power of the Holy Spirit, how was he able to express the truths of Jesus? I can’t imagine what it was like for him to try to explain Jesus in a way that made people, even in the littlest way, believe that Jesus was the Messiah, that he was the Son of God. Paul’s letters, written to address specific issues in the early Christian community, are significant because like the Gospels they convey the truth of God’s revelation.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he encourages Christians not to compromise or turn away from the truth of Jesus. False teachings about Jesus were threating the faith and distracting people from the truth. The same can be said about today. All around us are cultural pressures that challenge the teachings of Jesus and even claim falsehoods about his identity. The letter to the Colossians, written so many years ago can help us today when we may question who Jesus is.
“Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
This phrase helps us to understand that part of Jesus’ mission is to reveal to us what God is like. No one has seen God in His heavenly form and glory. Jesus shows us, not God’s physical body, but rather His actions and teachings. As first-born of all creation Jesus is above all creation. He was not created but rather He was Himself the Creator of all things.
“He is before all things and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).
We can never exaggerate the greatness of Jesus. At the Incarnation, Jesus stepped out of eternity into the time. But, by faith we understand Jesus is the second Person of the eternal Trinity. He came to earth to bring all creation into fullness.
“He is the head of the Body, the Church” (Col. 1:18a).
One of Jesus’ many beautiful and glorious roles is the Head of the body, which is the Church. He rules over His church by His Word and by the Spirit.
“He is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent” (Col. 1:18b).
Though Jesus was not the first person raised from the dead, scripture tells us of other resurrections, Jesus IS the first born from the dead. He is considered the first in the sense that all others resurrected because of Jesus’ victory over death. Jesus is the first of who rose and who will die no more.