Advent 10 – The Firstborn of All Creation
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15
The second part of this verse has spawned numerous sectarian and heretical teachings throughout the years since the early church. Wrongly interpreted, it has led some to assert that Jesus was “born,” instead of existing eternally as the Second Person of the Trinity. Others have believed that Jesus had “siblings,” notably one named Lucifer.
These erroneous beliefs are, of course, very incorrect. While a woodenly, literal reading of this verse might lead some to believe that it is affirming Jesus as a created being or that God had numerous other “sons,” equal with Jesus in power and authority. Nothing is further from the truth.
The term “firstborn” (“prototokos”) is a designation of rulership and authority. The “firstborn” was always the one with the most prominence in the royal lineage. In Hebrew thought, the “firstborn” was the one who held the right of inheritance. They would be the ranking one, and the legal heir to the family name and fortune.
An Old Testament text in Psalm 89:27 speaks of King David and says, “‘I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.’” This has nothing to do with birth order, otherwise how could God make someone a firstborn child (in David’s case, he was the youngest in his family).
Hebrews 1:2 says Jesus is “the heir of all things,” referring to this same statement. So those who would deny the deity of Christ based on this phrase would be far off in their understanding.
Jesus is fully “the image of God,” but also the inheritor of all creation. It all belongs to Him! He is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” and He alone deserves our worship and our devotion.