Posts Tagged ‘primogeniture’

Verses 15-18: “He is the image of the invisible God; the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

Remember taking vocabulary tests in school? I always enjoyed learning a new word, especially if I could use it in poetry or other writing. I remember learning the term “primogeniture”: the rights and privileges assigned to the eldest of children, especially concerning inheritance or succession. Since I was born first in our family, I kind of liked that term for obvious reasons. However, I have learned in life, that being the first one born doesn’t always guarantee you get everything. (For example, my son, who is taller than me, certainly didn’t get his height directly from me! 🙂 )

The passage of Scriptures that Paul wrote to the Colossian church regards Jesus’s place in things, and that is firstborn. It doesn’t mean here that Jesus was created (a misconception); Jesus is God, one of the Trinity (see John 1), and Paul writes here of Jesus’s rank: He is the preeminent firstborn over all creation. He existed before creation. Jesus is before all things, and in Him all things consist. He is like the linchpin…pull out the linchpin holding things together and everything falls apart. Paul here is countering an argument by other false religious teachers in the area that Jesus was one of several important spirits. Folks, there can only be one true holder of the title and rank of firstborn…and the title-holder is Jesus.

Also, the passage mentions “the firstborn from the dead”. As the Holman New Testament Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, & Colossians nicely states on page 283-284: “Again, firstborn here has nothing to do with time. Others preceded Jesus in rising from the dead. Lazarus is one example (John 11:38-44). Jesus is first in rank. Others were raised only to die again. Jesus was the first person to rise, never to die again. He is the first person to conquer death, and all other resurrections are based on his. The glorious truth for us is this: because of his resurrection, we are assured of our own resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-23).”

Something to think about today.

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