Colossians 1:18-20 Paul continues his explanation of the moral authority of Jesus Christ; the context of this passage goes back to vs. 9-10. What gives Jesus Christ the right to tell us how to live? This authority is very similar to a parent telling their young child how to behave. The parent has this authority because he is the source of life for the child, and the parent sustains the life of the child. Such responsibility breeds authority. There is a great parallel here in the relationship of Christ to his creation. As we saw last week, he is the creator and sustainer of all things, and holds inherent authority on this basis.
In the second half of the text, which we will examine this morning, we discover how Christ “earned” his right to moral authority over the church. His “earned right” of authority is parallel to a parent who risks their own life for the safety of their child.