Jesus Christ “is before all things,
and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body,
the church: who is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead; that
in all things he might have
As an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul wanted the church at Colossae (as well as the neighboring churches of Laodicea and Hierapolis, Col 4:13) to know how truly great Jesus is: that “he is before all things”. How easy it is both for men in ministry and also those in a certain ministry to forget that central truth. Committed Christians are often noted for their zeal and devotion to those works which God has given them to do. But let each of us never forget that there is no vision, no good work, no ministry that is ever to overshadow the preeminence or ‘all-importance’ of Jesus Christ. Nothing can compare to him, and nothing is ever to usurp his words, his example, his heart, all of which he left as an example to all of us to follow.
Everything we do in the Lord is supposed to be first and foremost “for the Lord”. It is never to be for a man’s glory or honor. In fact the church itself is to learn how to be made ready as “a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk 1:17). The heavenly elders, as a clear witness to all those who are in ministry, said, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:11 We were created for the Lord’s pleasure, not our own and not for anyone else’s pleasure. This is why to be the servant of Jesus Christ we cannot seek to please men (Gal 1:10). How do we please the Lord? As this same verse says, by giving him the glory and honor and power and not giving them to men or to a man.
Too often as the members of Christ’s church we can forget the most important thing about the church: that it belongs to Jesus Christ and he is the true Head. Christians can often ‘say’ Jesus is the head of the church; but all too often we can forget what that means. We start calling men “Pastor” or “the Shepherd” and we forget the church belongs to no man; the church is the heritage of the Lord (1Pe 5:3), and he is “the Shepherd” (1Pe 2:25, 5:4). What does it mean that Jesus is the Head of the body? It means that no one is fit to take his place as the Head of every believer; no leader is to make the decisions for our lives, but Christ himself.
The body of Christ cannot have 2 (or more) heads. It cannot have 2 (or more) kings. Christ is the church’s only true Head and only true King. That is why true leaders must be very careful to continually humble themselves even as the heavenly elders in Revelation continually do and to point people to Jesus. This is the true work of elders to get the saints to “behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David” (Rev 5:5). If we are truly of Christ’s body, if we truly know he is the Head, then let’s let Jesus truly lead; let’s let Jesus’ words truly be the final word on every issue; and let us give (especially in the church) “in all things” Jesus Christ the preeminence or ‘all-importance’. No one is like Jesus. This is why the Father from heaven told the 3 closest apostles to Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Mt 17:5
Get your eyes off of every man — off of Peter, off of James, off of John, off of Elijah and off of Moses — and get them on Jesus, that is your heavenly Father’s command! As the songwriter finally realized, “it’s all about Jesus, it’s all about Jesus”. This is the why we were called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ that we may become his body who lives for him: “Now the body is … for the Lord” (1Co 6:13). May we as those bought by his blood never forget who is to get ALL the glory. May we not forget as Paul said near the end of the book of Acts “God, whose I am, and whom I serve” (Ac 27:23).