“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
The second description of Christ in this verse is his relationship to creation — he is the “firstborn over all creation.”
“the firstborn over all creation”
This phrase is not a statement about the creation of Jesus Christ because he cannot create himself. As God, he is not a creature. He created all things (John 1:3; Heb. 1:2,3). He came from eternity and is everlasting (Prov. 8:23-26). “Firstborn” indicates his dominion over all things. The firstborn in Israel had the right to rule. Jesus has the right to rule because of his rank over all creation. He is the sovereign God of creation.
The word “firstborn” has nothing to do with the first Christmas. Nowhere does the Bible teach that Jesus began at Bethlehem. His physical being began there but not his person. The Bible does teach that he was from everlasting (Micah 5:2; Isa. 9:2). The child is born, but the Son is given. He existed before creation (John 1:1-3,14). This passage is not talking about his birth as a creature but his existence as God himself.
“Firstborn” means he is first in priority over creation. Since he preceded creation, he is sovereign over it. There is implied sovereignty in this word. The Old Testament used “firstborn” to designate the Messiah (Ps. 89:27). Jesus is both prior to creation (time) and sovereign over all creation (rank).
The eternal relationship of the Son with the Father is in view here. Jesus is first in priority (preeminent over creation), and he also produced creation.
Five times the Lord is called “the firstborn” (Co 1:15,18; Rom. 8:29; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:5). In Colossians 1:18, he is the “firstborn” from the dead; this is his resurrection. He was the first to rise from the dead. He is the firstborn of a brand new creation. Because he rose from the dead, all those who put their trust in him will rise from the dead as well. His resurrection launched a brand new society; a new breed of people began with his resurrection.
Note the word “all” again. There is nothing in all creation over which the Son is not sovereign.
Jesus has no rivals; he is unchallenged in preeminence and priority.
Do you acknowledge the preeminence and priority of Jesus Christ in your everyday decisions?