Sandbox Discussion: Who is the greatest?

Col. 1:18 - "And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent."

This past Sunday during worship we imagined two children having a debate as they played in a sandbox. The question under consideration was, whose father was greatest? Each persuasively and passionately made the case for his respective father. In Colossians, Paul tried to help those believers understand that there really isn't any debate when it comes to who is greatest. Christ is supreme! In the first chapter he made two sweeping points to prove Jesus' preeminence.

  1. Jesus is preeminent in the creation (Col. 1:15-17)! Just look at all that is said in these verses about Christ. There's no contest! What is repeatedly said is that Christ is above and before ALL things mentioned here. And the fact that we are still present to observe everything Paul has said is proof that Christ is still holding all things together!
  2. Jesus is preeminent in the church (Col. 1:18-20)! As amazing as the previous facts about the creation are, Christ's supremacy in the church is far more incredible. Jesus is the head of his church, the first to experience resurrection yet never die again! For those who belong to him, he has reconciled all of us to himself by his own blood! There is one phrase in verse 18 that I want to draw attention to:
  3. "...that in EVERYTHING he might be preeminent." Consider what a couple of authors have said about Jesus from this passage:
"The Jesus of Colossians brooks no rivals, be they the malevolent powers of the cosmos or brutal dictators in a foreign land." Bird, M. F. (2009). Colossians and Philemon (p. 56). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

"Jesus Christ is not to be counted one among thirty. He is not to be counted as one among the created, but Jesus Christ is above all. He is so considered here in this book and throughout the Bible." Jenkins, F. (1998). The Preeminent Christ. In F. Jenkins (Ed.), Christ and the Church: Studies from Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon (p. 12). Temple Terrace, FL: Florida College Bookstore.

Since this is the case, what should the reign of the preeminent Christ look like in my daily life? There should not be any area withheld from his lordship!

"Paul’s point is that such dichotomies between the visible and invisible, public and private, external and internal are false. His confession of Christ’s lordship over all things shows his confidence that Christ’s death establishes God’s grace in every nook and cranny of God’s creation." Wall, R. W. (1993). Colossians & Philemon (Col 1:15). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Are there any areas of your life that you are withholding from the supremacy of Christ? From time to time we all do. The questions is, when those nooks and crannies are found, will you surrender them to the one who is Lord over all? What about your thought life? What about your affections? Will husbands allow Jesus to be preeminent this week as the serve and love their wives? Will wives allow Jesus to be preeminent as the submit and respect? Will singles use their singleness for the glory of God? To those who have been reconciled to Christ through his blood, in what way will you allow the reality of Christ's preeminence to be manifested in your life this week?

Jeremy Dehut