Devotional # 148. 8/3/15. Colossians 1:19-20.
Intro. Last week we talked about the nature of Jesus and how, being both fully God and fully Man, He was the only one who could save us from our sins. This week we actually continue talking about both of those things, along with a better understanding of how it pleased the Father to do things the way that He had always planned.
v. 19. Paul starts off that it “pleased the Father.” We really need to pay attention when we hear that God the Father was pleased with something. What makes the God of the universe happy? This is an opportunity for us to learn a truth about God and therefore to think correctly about Him. “It pleased” God the Father that the completeness of God should live in God the Son. Why did it please the Father? Since God can see before time began and eternity in the future, He is able to see the reality of His children living in perfection as He had intended. When He created man and woman and put them in the Garden (Genesis 2 & 3) it was His intention that He would be able to have a perfect relationship with them and they could live their lives as they were designed. We often think that when sin entered the world it threw a wrench into God’s plan and it sent Him scrambling for a recovery plan. But Rev. 13:8 says that God knew this would happen and His plan since He created the world was to save His people (in fact Jesus was considered murdered before the world was created). So here it pleased God to see His plan being fulfilled. It also pleased Him to see us, His sons and daughters, saved.
F.E. Marsh gives us seven things that “pleased God” from the Bible:
- “To bruise His Son. “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isaiah 53:10).
- To make all fullness to dwell in Him. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell” ( 1:19).
- To save them that believe. “It pleased God…to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).
- To reveal His Son in the saved ones. “It pleased God….to reveal His Son in me” ( 1:15-16).
- To make us His people. “It hath pleased the Lord to make you His people” (1 Sam. 12:22).
- To make us one in Christ. “Set the members everyone of them in the Body as it has pleased Him” (1 Cor. 12:18).
- To give us a resurrection body. “God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him” (1 Cor. 15:38) “ (Source 1).
After reading those seven times that God was pleased we’re left asking, ‘how good is God!?!’
I’ve read Colossians 2:9 so many times that the sentence here in v. 19 “in Him all the fullness should dwell” feels incomplete! I feel like it’s missing “of the Godhead bodily.” But of course it’s not, since that phrase will come in a couple verses. So what do we learn from this phrase here?
If you’ve ever tried to think about how big God is then, like me, your brain probably started hurting! So we try and think of how magnificent and overwhelming God would have to be to create this universe in the blink of an eye. But we can’t even fathom it. Now this verse is telling us that the “fullness” of that, all of the awe and majesty and magnificence, was encapsulated in Jesus when He came to earth. The completely overflowing essence of God was perfectly placed in a Human body and we call Him Lord and Savior.
Something else that stands out is that this Lord and Savior being “the fullness” of God is a perfect representation of God to us. So when people say ‘I can never know God’ or ‘God is too big to be able to talk to’ that’s not true. If you want to know how God would react in a certain situation or how He would answer your question you just have to pick up your Bible and read what Jesus said. The God of the universe knows you and loves you!
Another thing we learn from this is that Jesus (God, the Son) wasn’t lacking anything, He was “all the fullness” of God. So when Jesus came to earth He didn’t have “peace” but lacked “wrath” or He didn’t just have “forgiveness” but was missing “justice” – instead all of the nature of God was perfectly in balance in Him. I suggest you read Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer for more on the attributes of God.
I like what Guzik says about this section, “the fullness has been put into Jesus Christ. Not into a church; not into a priesthood; not into a building; not into a sacrament; not into the saints; not into a method or a program, but in Jesus Christ Himself. It was put into Him as a “distribution point” – so that those who wanted more of God and all that He is could find it in Jesus Christ” (Source 2).
v. 20. Notice the “in Him” and “by Him”. Jesus had the fullness of God “in Him” (according to v. 19) and now “by Him”, Jesus reconciled everything back to Himself. In fact the phrase “in Him” is used twice here. We’re really supposed to understand that we aren’t the ones who did anything; it was all “in Him”.
The word “reconciled” in the phrase “reconciled all things to Himself” should be looked at. The idea of being “reconciled” insinuates that there was a problem. Something that absolutely couldn’t be solved by one group and required another group to make it right. The depravity of man is awful. This friction must be fixed. And God fixed it and took pleasure in reconciling this.
So Jesus “reconciled all things to Himself” and then “all things” are broken into two categories: 1. “things on earth” or, 2. “things in heaven.” Remember last week when we talked about how the things in heaven, the “thrones” and “dominions” and “principalities” and “powers” were “visible” and “invisible” (Colossians 1:16)? We don’t want to rush by this, everything whether it’s here on earth or in the spiritual realm has been reconciled to Him.
Lastly, all of the things (whether earthly or heavenly) have had “peace” brought to them through Jesus. Now that doesn’t mean everything has accepted His “peace” but the transaction has been completed. If we read Revelation we see that ultimately Jesus will be victorious in “reconciling all things” to “peace” with Himself. Did you notice that it says, He “made peace through the blood of His cross.”? “His cross.” I love the ownership of Jesus. He hated and despised the shame that He had never had to experience before, but He owned that cross. It was the place He suffered and died, and no one can take that away from Him. No one can try and substitute someone or something else on there. It was Jesus. Look at Hebrews 12:1-3. Jesus counted the cross as “joy that was set before Him.” Also Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He created it and completed it.
Conclusion. Did you notice that, in just these two verses there is such a distinct contrast between Jesus the Son of God and Jesus the Son of Man? On the one hand Jesus was a perfect representation of God, being fully God, having all the justice and mercy and wrath and love all living at unity within Himself here on earth. At the same time the weakness and strength of being a Human and dying for our sins was present with Him. He truly took the “peace” that He had as God and brought it to us “through the blood of His cross”!!
Source 2: David Guzik, http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide_Col/Col_1.cfm?a=1108019