Monday, September 24, 2012

Colossians 1:15-16

15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
16 For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him. 

The Greek word for image, eikón (εἰκών), implies more than a shadow or copy of the original. The word signifies an exact replication of the original. In the birth of Jesus the invisible God became visible in human flesh. “Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God” (J.B. Phillips). Colossians, like any city saturated with Greek and Roman mythology, would have had no shortage of images of gods. People seem to have a need to see something with their own eyes. Converting from a polytheistic religion of stone gods to one of the one invisible God would have been difficult for many. It would be easy for some to follow false teachers who were saying that Jesus was fine, but he was equal to any number of spirits flowing from God. (Does this remind you of today’s theology of “all paths lead to heaven”?)

Sometimes we minimize or disregard the glory of God. After Moses was in God’s presence his face shone so brightly that people could not look at him. It is a huge deal that through Jesus people could look on the face of God. I’m currently reading Mother Teresa’s biography. The author writes that people were touched forever by even a simple half smile from her. Being in her presence gave people a small sense of being in the presence of God. Although we can never be an exact replica of God, we should daily be becoming more like him. (Read 2 Corinthians 3 for more on that topic.)

Some Colossians were worshiping things such as angels; Paul points out that all things visible and invisible were created through Christ and for Christ. He is the divine, so why worship His creation? Many today are tempted to worship angels, demons, or saints rather than worship the God who created them. Even those of us who do not blatantly worship such things may be focused on our family, jobs, or life situations to the extent that it affects our worship of God. Jesus rules all things visible and invisible. He knows your hearts desires and is in control of the madness that may be swirling around you. Through “good” and “bad” times in your life, remember that the Spirit is conforming you into the image of God!

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 
2 Corinthians 3:18

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