Jesus is the Image of the Invisible God—Colossians 1:15
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15)
Jesus said to His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9b). This was in reply to Philip who asked to see God. Jesus’ response was that if they knew Him they already knew the Father because of this simple truth; Jesus is the exact image, the precise likeness, the sole expression and the perfect imprint of the unseen, invisible, unoriginated, immutable, eternal and self-sustaining God.
We Look To Jesus To Know & Understand God
The book of Hebrews opens with this very idea, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3a). Everything God is, Jesus is. He is the divine who took humanities form and lived among us so that we could be witnesses of God’s glory, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The reason God dwelt among us was to reconcile or restore all things,“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on a cross” (Colossians 1:19-20). And now, we can look at Christ and see the One true God because “We have been given the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (II Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus is Firstborn Over Creation
Not only is Jesus the precise image of God, but He holds the place of pre-eminence as the firstborn over creation (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:3-4). This idea of firstborn is more than being first in line, it also describes superiority of position. There are several places in the New Testament that ascribe the status of firstborn to Jesus:
Jesus is the firstborn over creation (Colossians 1:15) and He also had an active role in creating everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
Jesus is the firstborn of the dead through His resurrection (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).
Jesus is the firstborn of the Church, birthing it and giving life to it (Romans 8:29).
Jesus is the firstborn of the saints, the countless men and women who belong to the Church (Hebrews 12:23).
The Church Reflects the Image of Christ
“Christ is the Prototype after which all other sons are being fashioned” Paul E. Billheimer
Amazingly, God’s master plan of revealing Himself to humanity didn’t stop after Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of the Father. Instead He enables and equips the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit to shine His light and reflect Christ’s image in the world. Paul explains, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ…” (Colossians 2:9-10a). As we are being inwardly renewed to His image, our outward lives reflect him. Which is why Paul continually gives the Church these instructions….
“…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10).
“… put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
As believers we not only resemble Him but we also represent Him…
“And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (I Corinthians 15:49).
In Christ, You Also Bear His Image
Since you too, reflect the image of your Creator, I pray that His light will radiate through you, illuminating His grace and truth to everyone around you. I pray that others will see Christ in you and be drawn to Him. May His glorious image and likeness shine through you!