Dr. Dan Hayden • 

I’m the firstborn of five children. I have two brothers and two sisters—all of whom are younger than I. “Firstborn”—that’s our word for today.

In Colossians 1:15, it says that Jesus is “the firstborn of all creation.” Later, in verse 18 Paul says it again. He says, “and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” What does it mean that Jesus is the firstborn? Well, it’s obvious that He was the firstborn of Mary. But this text says that He was “the firstborn of all creation.”

Actually the word is not a reference to Jesus being born. It is the Greek word prototikos, and has more to do with the rights of the firstborn. Protos is the word for “first.” Tokos is a word for interest on money loaned. Literally, it means first rights.


A related word, prototikia, refers to the birthright of the oldest son. Prototikos is the firstborn as it relates to birthright. In ancient Semitic custom, the firstborn son in any family had the privilege of the first rights of inheritance. That simply meant that the farm went to him.

Colossians 1:15 is saying, therefore, that Jesus has the rights to inherit all of creation. Since He is the “firstborn from the dead,” He is the victorious One who has the right to inherit the earth and rule over the kingdom

Say—did you know that we are joint-heirs with Christ? Wow! What an inheritance!