Meditations in Colossians: 31. Jesus the Creator
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
I suspect the thing that most marks God out for many of us is the fact that He is the Creator: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1) In the recent studies we have seen Jesus equated with the Father as God, now seated at the Father’s right hand in heaven with all authority given to him so that he oversees God’s kingdom. But now we find that he was part of the ‘Creation partnership’.
There is a strength that comes through in these verse when twice Paul says, “all things” and just in case we were unsure of what that means we might summarise it by saying everything in existence whether in heaven (invisible to us) or on the earth (visible to us) and that includes all and any person or being that exists “whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities”. Now we assume that description includes human beings and angelic or demonic beings who have power. This is a staggering claim that yet again lifts Jesus the Son of God above anyone or anything in all of existence (except his Father).
Before we consider the ramifications of this, let’s check other verses that suggest the same thing. John’s Gospel has to be the starting place: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (Jn 1:3) Not much doubt about that. We find the same thing in Hebrews: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” (Heb 1:1,2)
In Proverbs 8 there is a beautiful prophetic picture of wisdom personified which in the light of the above verses must have applied to the Son: “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep …. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” (Prov 8:27-31) He is our link between the Father and us His world, and he was there with the Father bringing all things into being. Perhaps we take for granted some of the verses we have read. For example, John’s description of Jesus’ activity: ““Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” There is nothing in existence that came without his actions, absolutely everything is covered in this.
What did the Hebrew writer mean when he said, “through whom he made the universe.” ‘through Jesus’? It would almost seem as if the Father has expressed or brought out of Himself Jesus (begotten) to become the primary link between the spiritual and material worlds and so right at the ‘beginning’, having begotten the person and being of Jesus the Son, everything material comes through him, and then additional; spiritual beings (angels). The Father spoke and said, “Let there be light,” and in a way that defies our finite minds, and so light came through the Son, then the material world, then ‘earth’ then seas, then plants and trees, then living creatures, then mankind – all through the being who is the Son. The Father willed it, the Son expressed it and the Spirit energised it.
So Jesus, with the Father, brought into being ALL things – including an angel who would fall and become known as Satan. Did God make a mistake? Was Jesus involved in a gigantic error? No, the agency that allows rebellion is called free will; it is the essential that allows sentient beings to act freely, to be living beings who make purpose for their actions and lives – and that included angels. So, yes, God knew Satan would rebel, knew that sin would enter the world through Adam and Eve’s rejections of His instructions and knew what would follow, but that was the cost of free will. But within that knowledge the Godhead planned how to bring redemption and planned how to use Satan. I have written elsewhere on how God uses Satan but here is a brief summary with some starter verses:
To reveal men’s hearts – see 1 Chron 21:1
To bring judgement on unbelievers – see Rev 9:11
To bring discipline to believers – see 1 Cor 5:5
To subjugate unbelievers – see 1 Jn 5:19b
To maintain humility in our lives – see 2 Cor. 12:7
To develop faith & righteousness in our lives – see 1 Peter 1:7 / 5:8-9 / 2 Peter 1:4-8
To bring about trials whereby we can be rewarded – see 1 John 2:13,14 / Rev. 2:17
To teach us how to fight – see Judges 3:2
To demonstrate God’s power over the enemy – see Eph 3:10
So, no there were no mistakes in Creation, only divine wisdom as Father and Son brought into being every single thing we can think of in existence. As we said before, as we started considering the person and work of Jesus here in this letter, never let anyone say that Jesus is ‘just another religious leader’; the Bible does not allow us that.