15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
The verse begins with a relative pronoun “who” that connects the content of the verse back to the Person mentioned at the end of verse 13, “his dear Son”. According to verse 14, He is the One in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins through His blood. Undoubtedly, Paul is describing Jesus Christ when he said, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”. Paul here presents to us Jesus Christ in His relation to God, as well as in His relation to the universe.
In His relation to God, Christ is “the image of the invisible God”. God is invisible as He is an eternal Spirit (cf. John 4:24). 1 Timothy 6:16 says concerning God that He “only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” But the invisible God has been made visible in Christ, for He is the “image” of the invisible God. The Greek word for “image” (eikon) denotes an exact replica, a precise copy, an actual representation, etc. Christ, the eikon of God, has revealed to us the invisible God! Jesus Himself said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). So in John’s Gospel, we are told that “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Jesus Christ was the visible expression of God. He manifested God. He is not a lesser God, as some cultic groups say about Him. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). Christ is the fullness of God; hence He is fully God. He is not, as some say, less than God, or one of many gods, or a high angel or a created being.
In His relation to the universe, Christ is “the firstborn of every creature”. Some have falsely interpreted this to mean that Jesus was the first created being. They have mistaken the word “firstborn” to mean born or created first. The Greek word for “firstborn” (prototokos) means the rightful heir or the one in authority. In the following verse, Paul clearly shows that Christ is the Creator and not the first among the creation – “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible” (v. 16). So, Christ is the Creator and Heir of everything. He wields “all power” in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He is sovereign over all of creation. Oh, what a great divine Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord!