“And [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.” - Colossians 1:18
Any time that Jesus is described with a word in the Scriptures, it’s probably really important for us to know what that word means. Do we realize the significance of that word preeminent?
Sometimes I think I know what words mean, until someone asks me to define a word and I start fumbling through some semblance of an explanation that half-way through I realize I am just making up. That’s when I turn to this really dusty, old-fashioned book called (drum roll) …
And without fail, every time I turn to the dictionary for help with a word that I think I know, I receive new insight, along with a nice helping of humility.
So, I was reading the passage above in Colossians, and I thought I knew generally what preeminent meant, but I went ahead and looked it up anyway. You know, just to be safe, in case someone on the bus needed my help with a heady, theological, Christian Cross-Word puzzle (see what I did there?). And the dictionary told me that preeminent means
surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way; supreme
And my heart was humbled as I realized, “That is the rightful place of Jesus.” Jesus is supposed to be preeminent. He should be supreme! He should surpass all others!
Another translation words it this way, “that he himself will come to have first place” (Col. 1:18 NASB). “IN EVERYTHING!” the passage says.
This week, we are singing a song called “Jesus True and Only” by Austin Stone Worship. You can find the story behind the song here.
The song comes from a heart of declaring Jesus to be the True and Only One who surpasses all others.
That Is His Rightful Place.
The first part of the chorus reads,
Oh, Jesus, true and only
ever reigning on Your throne
But, there is also a desire and a challenge for us in the next phrase,
May my life be true and only
Yours and yours alone
Yours and yours alone
Jesus has earned the right—by his perfect life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection—to have FIRST PLACE in EVERYTHING. “Everything” includes our lives, both yours and mine. How are we doing in that department? If you’re like me, you might be answering, “not that great.”
The good news is that we don’t have to be perfect. But, Jesus wants to extend his good, kingly reign into your life. So, when we sing this song, let’s do two things: 1) Let’s worship Jesus by declaring that he is the True and Only One, and 2) Let’s worship Jesus by asking him to be preeminent in our lives, and then get ready to obey him as he answers our prayer.