For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell. (Colossians 1:19)
This section of Paul’s letter to the Colossians is something of a meditation on the person and work of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15-20). Paul explained to the Colossians who Jesus is and what He did to rescue us, and he explained it with a bit of poetry and lots of power. One of those powerful statements is found in Colossians 1:19, which says of Jesus, for it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.
It’s a staggering thing to say of any human being who walked this earth and who spoke, slept, walked, sat, and smiled pretty much just like everyone else. Paul said that within this man, Jesus of Nazareth, God the Father was pleased to have within Him all the fullness of deity itself.
That word fullness translates the ancient Greek word pleroma, and was really just another way to say that Jesus is truly God. Bishop Lightfoot said that this word was a recognized term of theology in Paul’s day, and it meant the totality of God’s power and nature. It was Paul’s way to say that Jesus was and is totally God, God to the fullest. He isn’t a junior God or a kind-of God; He is God in totality.
What is more, Jesus is that way forever. Paul wrote, it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell. The ancient Greek word for dwell is here used in the sense of a permanent dwelling. There is an entirely different word used for the sense of a temporary dwelling place. Paul wanted to emphasize the idea that Jesus was not temporarily God, but is permanently God.
We read in the Scriptures that at one point it pleased the Father to bruise Jesus (Isaiah 53:10). This was to accomplish our salvation and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. That was a price paid one time forever; now it pleases the Father that in Jesus all the fullness of God should dwell. It pleases God the Father that we should recognize and worship Jesus as God in the fullest sense.
The fullness has been put into Jesus Christ. Not into a church; not into a priesthood; not into a building; not into a sacrament; not into the saints; not into a method or a program, but in Jesus Christ Himself. It was put into Him as a “distribution point” – so that those who wanted more of God and all that He is could find it in Jesus Christ.
If you are looking for the fullness of God, you will only ever find it in Jesus Christ. It dwells in Him, and will dwell in Him forever.
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David’s weekly devotional is also translated into German.