15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

In today’s passage, Paul used the term firstborn to describe Jesus. Paul did not mean that Jesus is the first in time of creation; instead he referred to Jesus’s rank. Throughout the Bible, the firstborn son of the family had the highest rank and was given the first right and privilege of the family inheritance. Likewise, Jesus is the firstborn of creation, the highest ranking being in the entire universe.

What gives Him this rank? Paul answered this prior to stating His rank in the universe; Jesus is the image of the invisible God. We should think of this term not merely as a semblance of but similar to the idea of a photograph as the image of a person today. Jesus is the exact image of God because He is God himself. Thus, Jesus is not the first created being because He was not created.

In fact, Paul went on to say that it was through Jesus that all things have been made. Not only were all things created through Him, they were created for Him. He is the head of all things, and He is the one through whom the entire universe is sustained.

In considering the supremacy of Jesus, we should also consider our position as part of His creation. As we are reminded in this passage, the whole universe has been created to glorify God, who has been revealed in the Son. As followers of Jesus, our primary purpose in life is to honor and glorify the Son, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

• How does this description of Jesus change your perspective of Him?

• How does this passage more clearly define why Jesus is worthy of all worship and praise?

• Spend time in praise of Jesus, who is the exact image of God and the firstborn of all creation.