Pre-eminence of Jesus Christ

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Jesus Christ excels over all of creation and reigns supreme over everthing in the created order.

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The scope of Jesus Christ’s pre-eminence

Over all people

John 17:2 KJV 1900
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
See also Mt 25:31–32; Ro 10:12

Over his enemies

1 Corinthians 15:25–26 KJV 1900
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
See also Ac 2:32–35; Ps 110:1; Eph 4:8 Paul probably interpreted “captives” to refer to the spiritual enemies of Christ defeated at the cross.

Over every power and authority

Colossians 2:15 KJV 1900
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
See also Eph 1:21

Over all traditions and institutions

Matthew 12:8 KJV 1900
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Over all things

1 Corinthians 15:28 KJV 1900
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
See also Mt 11:27; Mt 28:18; Jn 3:35; Jn 13:3; Jn 16:33; Ac 10:36; Php 3:21; Heb 2:8

The pre-eminence of Jesus Christ in relation to others

To other prophets

Mt 3:11; Mt 12:41; Jn 1:26–27; Jn 1:30; Jn 3:30; Heb 1:1–2

To the patriarchs

Jn 1:17; Jn 8:52–58; Heb 3:3–6

To Aaron and other high priests

Hebrews 8:1–6 KJV 1900
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
See also Heb 4:14; Heb 6:20; Heb 7:23; Heb 7:26–28; Heb 9:11–14; Heb 9:24–26

To angels

1 Peter 3:22 KJV 1900
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
See also Heb 1:4–14

To other lords and kings

Revelation 17:14 KJV 1900
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
See also 1 Ti 6:15; Re 19:16

Descriptions of Jesus Christ’s pre-eminence

He is the head

Colossians 2:10 KJV 1900
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
See also Eph 1:9–10; Eph 1:22; Eph 4:15; Eph 5:23–24; Col 1:18

He is the capstone

Mt 21:42 By so saying Jesus Christ applied this verse to himself. The capstone/cornerstone was the most significant stone of a building’s structure.
See also Ps 118:22; Ac 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1 Pe 2:7

He is the Chief Shepherd

Jn 10:11; Heb 13:20; 1 Pe 5:4

The reasons for Jesus Christ’s pre-eminence

His divine origin

John 3:31 KJV 1900
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
See also Jn 1:1–2; Jn 17:24

His equality with the Father

John 10:30 KJV 1900
I and my Father are one.
See also Col 1:19; Col 2:9

His authority derives from the Father

John 5:22–27 KJV 1900
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

He possesses the rights of the firstborn

Col 1:15–17 As the firstborn son has the rights and privileges of an heir, so Jesus Christ is heir of all things by virtue of his pre-existence and sonship.
See also Ro 8:29; Heb 1:6

He has a superior name

Philippians 2:9 KJV 1900
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
See also Ac 4:12; Heb 1:4

He is the First and the Last

Re 1:17 This title implies that all things are summed up in Christ and find their purpose in him.
See also Re 2:8; Re 22:13

Examples of events whereby Jesus Christ’s pre-eminence is recognised

His entry into Jerusalem

Mt 21:4–9; Zec 9:9

His resurrection

Ro 1:4; 1 Co 15:21–23; Re 1:5

His exaltation to the Father’s right hand

Acts 5:31 KJV 1900
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
See also Ac 2:33; Ac 7:55; Eph 1:20–21; Eph 4:8–10; Php 2:9–11; Col 3:1; Heb 8:1; Heb 10:12; 1 Pe 3:22; Re 3:21
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