Jesus Is Way Before All Things. WAY Before
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
We know that since Jesus was God’s Son, He’s completely equal with God. We know from other references that He is what we phrase as “One in being with the Father.” That means that what is true for God is true for Jesus and vice-versa. That’s how we have such a clear and plain view of what God is like. He is like Jesus.
So when Jesus is trying to convince the Pharisees and religious leaders of His authority, He throws an inside joke at them.
 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (ESV)
When Moses stood before the burning bush and God told him about the Exodus that was about to go down, God said His name was “I Am.” This name, this phrase, was considered incredibly holy by the Jewish leaders that Jesus was talking to.
Well, they wouldn’t say it. They would say “the name” or they would say other words to get around saying God’s actual name. They wouldn’t write it completely, leaving out the vowels because they didn’t even consider themselves worthy to write the name and so no one would glance at it and say it out loud. When they wrote YHWH, the scribes that copied the scriptures down would wash themselves before they wrote those letters so they would ceremonially clean at the moment of writing God’s name.
People, we can’t even comprehend this level of respect and work, can we? Maybe cleaning the house up before Thanksgiving dinner is as close as we get.
So when Jesus is establishing His preeminence over all things, even Abraham, Jesus invokes words that only He is able to speak.
I’m going to type that out again.
When Jesus is establishing His preeminence over all things, Jesus invokes words that only He is holy enough to speak.
When Jesus said “I Am,” He said it for the first time since speaking to Moses.
That’s how much He is before all things.