Divine Favour – for whose sake heaven and earth was created?

Let me share my thoughts concerning expressions of divine favour, a concept so often ignored by the expositors of the NT. As an example let us consider the following passage:

Col 1:16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

There is a danger in taking such statements literally. In the Gospel of the Hebrews (the Aramaic version of Matthew) used by the Ebionites Jesus says about James (correctly Jacob) his brother:

“For his sake heaven and earth was created”.

It is clear that this statement cannot be taken literally, rather, such statements were used as references to divine favours. James was righteous, therefore, highly favoured of God, and God created the world for the sake of the righteous (and not for the wicked), and this is the real meaning of the passage.

The “all things”, which are “thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities” are offices of authority created “through him and for him” makes more sense when we understand that Jesus fills two of these, namely the office of the High Priest and that of the King, thus, these offices were created for him. There are other positions of authority that will be filled by others in the Kingdom.


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