“He is … the firstborn over all creation”
In Greek and Hebrew thought the word firstborn has only very indirectly a time significance. In this context there is no suggestion that Jesus Christ was the first person to be created. Instead the term firstborn is used to convey its more important meanings.
Firstborn is a title of honour. The person who holds that title is seen to be the recipient of great blessings – which might include, wealth, power and prestige. Israel as a nation was referred to as the firstborn son of God, meaning that it was the most favoured one – the one whom God had chosen.
“Then say to Pharaoh, `This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22)
The term was also used as a title for the promised Messiah – a title conferred upon Him.
“I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth” (Psalm 89:27)
Paul is saying that Jesus holds the title of ‘the firstborn’. He is the One who will receive authority, honour and blessing from God – together with all of the created order over which He rules. He is the One who will receive from the Father everything that belongs to the Father. The Father will hold nothing back from Him.
So when in his letter to the Romans Paul says that, as the children of God, we become co-heirs with Christ we can grasp the wonderful truth. It tells us that we will all have a share in all that belongs to the Father – both spiritual and physical. Everything will be shared with us – those to whom God has given the title of His children – His sons and His daughters.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)
Yet there is one more thought to hold. What was born from Jesus – through whom all things were made – was born in Him first. In Him was conceived the master plan and purpose of God.
Jesus is truly Lord of all – our Saviour and our King
“In a loud voice they sang:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom
and strength and honour and glory and praise!”