Colossians 1:16 "By Jesus For Jesus" (Creation - Week 4)

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” ESV

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” NIV

Last week, we saw that God made us and desires what's best for us. Today's verse, Colossians 1:16, points to Jesus as the creator of the universe and the one deserving of all praise. The verse comes from Colossians 1:15-20, which was a hymn, likely sung by the early church. There is perhaps nowhere in the Bible that magnifies Jesus for his power in creation like these verses. 

Consider this: When you look up at the sky, every galaxy you see was created and is sustained by Jesus and for Jesus. When you look down at the ground, every ant you step on owes its existence to Jesus — it was created by him and for him. Every molecule in your body, every ocean, and body of water, every mountain, boulder, iceberg, planet, fruit, animal, mineral, and person owes its existence to Jesus. That is why Paul says in Colossians 1:17, "he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together." Douglas Moo writes: 


What holds the universe together is not an idea or a virtue but a person: the resurrected Christ. Without him, electrons wouldn't continue to circle nuclei, gravity would cease to work, and the planets would not stay in their orbits. [1] 

In other words, the very framework of our universe was created by Jesus. Not only did he make all things, but he is actively holding it all together at this very moment. Author N.D. Wilson talks about Jesus' power over creation, saying that he doesn't simply speak things into existence but that his voice is the very substance of all things. Have you ever considered that? When you walk by a boulder in the woods, it is the active voice of Jesus. Or, to use Wilson's words, "If He were to stop talking, it wouldn't be there." [2] 

When Jesus speaks, lightning strikes, hurricanes cease, and planets come into existence. He does not speak mere words. He speaks the very things themselves. His voice causes things to exist.. 

Understand that everything your eyes see was created by Jesus and for Jesus. Every molecule and atom, every political structure and government, every king and president, every being, whether visible or invisible and every creature in the deepest ocean valleys were created and sustained by Jesus and for Jesus. If He were to stop speaking, even for a moment, everything you see and even things you don't see would dissolve into oblivion.

Yet, here we are...

He upholds the universe by the word of His power. So today, remember, when you walk past a goose or drive past a tree, Jesus is holding only that, but also the whole universe together. He's powerful enough to keep galaxies in orbit, yet knows the number of hairs on your head. He is strong enough to handle your circumstances and loving enough to care about them. You can trust him. He created and is sustaining the world. He is supreme over all creation and deserving of our praise. 

Written By: Nick Harsh
Nick Harsh (MDiv, Clarks Summit University) is a ministry leader with The Salt Company, a ministry of Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. While publishing regularly at, his writing has also been featured at The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and Relevant Magazine.
[1] Moo, Douglas J. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. (Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2008), Loc. 2363.
[2] Wilson, N. D. Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), 42-43.

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