Big World, Bigger God
For by [Jesus] all things were created. Colossians 1:16
As we drove through northern Michigan, Marlene exclaimed, “It’s unbelievable how big the world is!” She made her comment as we passed a sign marking the 45th parallel—the point halfway between the equator and the North Pole. We talked about how small we are and how vast our world is. Yet, compared to the size of the universe, our tiny planet is only a speck of dust.
If our world is great, and the universe is vastly greater, how big is the One who powerfully created it? The Bible tells us, “For by [Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16
This is good news because this same Jesus who created the universe is the One who has come to rescue us from our sin for every day and forever. The night before He died, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33
When facing the large and small challenges of life, we call on the One who made the universe, died and rose again, and won victory over this world’s brokenness. In our times of struggle, He powerfully offers us His peace.
In Colossians Paul combats false teaching that seems to have included both Jewish asceticism (severe self-discipline) and the idea that the material world is bad and we are saved by avoiding it (see 2:16–23)—ideas similar to what would later be known as Gnosticism. Paul argued that the teachers of such “idle notions” (2:18), despite appearing wise (v. 23), were missing the point entirely. By focusing on their own ideas and rules (vv. 18, 22), they were missing Christ—the One through whom everything holds together (v. 19).
Colossians 1:15–17, often believed to be a Christian hymn, beautifully reinforces the truth that the gospel includes hope for the material world, God’s good creation. Because Jesus is the One who holds creation together (vv. 17–18), He restores not only harmony between people and God but between the creation and God (v. 20). Believers, as those living in His kingdom (vv. 12–14), can experience a taste of this renewed creation, even as we long for the final restoration.
How might Colossians 1:12–17 give us hope that God cares about and is involved with the particular areas of brokenness in our lives and world?