Exploring the Wonders of Christ’s Preeminence
His Son is God the Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, and Righteousness—and everything else that the sacred Scriptures call him when speaking of God.Origen (AD 248)
“WHEN THE DRAMA OF HISTORY IS OVER,” wrote German theologian Helmut Thielicke, “Jesus Christ will stand alone on the stage. All the great figures of history . . . will realize that they have been actors in a drama produced by another.”1
Our journey of enjoying “A Month in the Son” brings us to a place of exploring and experiencing Christ’s awesome preeminence. He is the Preeminent Jesus. Preeminent has a variety of meanings, including: “above all others; excelling others; excellent; surpassing all others; supreme; superb; marvelous.” Preeminent is related to predominant, meaning: “having ascendency,” “dominating all others.” Admittedly, the words supreme and preeminent seem to define each other. Yet, I feel very comfortable referring to Christ as supremely preeminent and preeminently supreme.
A Road to Christ
The apostle Paul would combine the two words supreme and preeminent when he described Christ to Colossian believers:
“He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything” (Colossians 1:18 AMP).
Paul wrote this to Christians in Philippi:
“So God lifted him up to the highest place. God gave him the name that is above every name. When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship him. Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will kneel down to worship him. Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.”Philippians 2:9-11 NIRV
A phrase that especially stands out in Paul’s message to the Philippian believers are the ten words: “God gave him the name that is above every name!” No personality in the history of humankind has had the impact of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth named Jesus. His preeminence is uncontested and His supremacy undisputed.
John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and key leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland in the mid-1500s, had such great spiritual influence that Mary, Queen of Scots, once said: “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”4
The preeminence of Christ was central to the preaching and writings of Knox. Of his preaching, it was said:
“Christ is in every noun, in every adverb, in every adjective, in every participle. . . .”5John Knox
The same was true of Charles Spurgeon. He wrote: “Whatever subject I preach, I do not stop until I reach the Savior, the Lord Jesus, for in Him are all things.” To fellow preachers, Spurgeon offered this challenge:
“From every text of Scripture there is a road to Christ. And my dear brother, your business is, when you get to a text, to say, now, what is the road to Christ? I have never found a text that did not have a road to Christ in it.”6Charles H. Spurgeon
Supreme Soul Seeker
Throughout our “Month in the Son” together, I have included hundreds of names and phrases that describe our awesome Lord. Certainly, one of the most significant of these is the simple phrase—the Lord Jesus Christ! The Preeminent Jesus is seen in each word of this name.
- First, we must not skip too quickly over the definite article the, which begins His name. A key definition of the reads: “that (one) designated or identified” and “that (one) considered outstanding.” There clearly is only one Person in the entire universe who is worthy of the title—the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Next is the name Lord, meaning, “one having great power and authority; ruler; master.”8 We have shared multiple examples of Scripture in the previous pages to describe Christ as “Lord of All”! “This is the same message that God gave to the people of Israel, when he sent Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, to offer peace to them” (Acts 10:36 CEV).
- Then comes the beautiful expression we have spoken of so often in these pages—Jesus! This name literally means “Jehovah saves!”9 Christ came in the flesh to live among humankind with a mission: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). Christ is the supreme soul seeker!
- Finally, Jesus is called the Christ. This title comes from the Greek word translated “anointed one.” In Hebrew, the equivalent to the name Christ is Messiah. The apostle Peter, declared, “Now everyone in Israel can know for certain that Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one God has made both Lord and the Messiah” (Acts 2:36 TPT)
Have you seen Jesus today in His supreme preeminence? Puritan revivalist Jonathan Edwards provides this worthy summary to our view of the Preeminent Jesus:
“Jesus Christ has true excellency, and so great an excellency, that when you come to truly see Him, you look no further, but your mind rests there.”10Jonatahn Edwards
A Prayer for Today
Preeminent Jesus, You reign over all! You are above all things, within all things, first in all things. Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I invite You today and every day to be preeminent in my life. May I wake each morning conscious of Your supreme preeminence. Just as the great preachers followed the texts of Scripture discovering every road that leads to You, I pray I would find new roads to Your preeminent presence every moment of my life. Be above all things in my heart. Reign above all things in my soul. Be first, O Lord, in all I think and do! I worship You alone! Amen & Amen!
ENCOUNTERING DIVINE JESUS
A PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Remember—these four steps to help you apply this quality of Christ to your own life.
- EXPLORE: Take time to meditate on this quality of Christ. Use Scriptures in this chapter to get started.
- EXPERIENCE: Turn your meditation into prayer that this quality might impact your life today. Pray the above prayer to begin.
- EXPRESS: During your quiet time, take a moment to journal your thoughts, even if briefly.
- EXALT: Pray, praise or even spontaneously sing your way through today’s list of the names of Jesus. It only requires a few minutes.
Author: Dr Dick Eastman.
We are grateful to Dr Eastman and Dr Doug Clay of US AG who has provided these resources. This is an edited version for the international audience.
Pic Credits: Preachtheword, Youtube.