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Christ the Head

“And not holding the Head,” Colossians 2:19

The Son of God is very often in the holy scriptures called an Head, and may be so for divers consideration.

  1. In respect of angels, he is the Head of all principalities and powers, Ephesians 1:21.
  2. In respect of man, the whole race of man; the Head of every man is Christ, 1 Corinthians 11:3.
  3. In respect of the powers of the world, he is the Head of kings and princes, and all the powers of the earth.
  4. He is the Head of the Gospel-building: This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner, Acts 4:11.
  5. He is the Head of the body, the church, which alludes to a natural Head, and doth agree therewith in divers respects; of which take these examples, Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18.
The Head is the highest part of the body, more loftily placed than all the rest of the members. The Son of God, as he was higher by birth than men, yea, than the greatest of men, kings, and mighty potentates of the earth, so he is by place and office: “therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Hebrews 1:9.
The Head is the seat of the senses. There is the eye to see, the ear to hear, the organs to smell and taste, by which things are truly distinguished, even the good from the bad, for the benefit of the whole body. The Son of God, the mystical or spiritual Head, is the seat of the spiritual senses. There is the clear seeing eye, the perfect hearing ear, the pure, true, and infallible taste, by which things are distinguished aright, the good from the bad, for the benefit of he whole body of the church.
The Head is the common treasury of the whole man; whatsoever comes is lodged there for the rest of the members. Jesus Christ, as a public person, and Head of his church, is Receiver-general, and common treasury of the whole body.  Whatsoever came originally from God, for the good and benefit of the church, is lodged in Christ as Mediator, and Head of his church. As David said, all my springs are in thee,” Psalms 87:7.So may the church say of Christ, “and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” Colossians 1:19.
The Head doth transmit, or cause to be transmitted, by way of communication, all the supplies accruing to all other parts of the body, whether it be ease from pain, by application of comfort, etc. The Son of God doth transmit, or cause be transmitted, by way of communication, all the supplies of the mystical body, whether it be peace of conscience, ease for soul-pains, by an application of his blood, and Spirit to comfort. It is by him, that the whole body, by joints and bands, have nourishment administered one to another, as knit together in all parts, and increasing with the  increase of God, Colossians 2:19. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace,” John 1:16.
The Head is the very fountain of strength, and cunning policy, so signified concerning the serpent: “It shall bruise thy Head,” Genesis 3:17. The Son of God is the fountain of strength to his church; it is said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” Matthew 28:18. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13.
The Head is the place where burdens are carried. Three baskets were on the baker’s Head, Genesis 40:16. Jesus Christ was a man of labour, that carried our burdens for us in divine respects: the burden of temptations from Satan and the world fell upon him; the burden of persecution, even death itself. “And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:6.
The Head is the seat of sorrow; there it is received and centered, Genesis 42:38. The Lord Jesus was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, Isaiah 53:4. There was no sorrow like his, it was heaped upon him even to perfection.
The Head receives the hand of blessing from the Father, Genesis 48:18. The Lord Jesus is the man of God’s right-hand, made strong for himself, upon whom the blessing is conferred by the Father, as a token of good to the whole church.
The Head receives the consecration of God, both in case of Nazarite and high-priest, Leviticus 21:10. The anointing with oil (or the holy unction) was upon the Head, whereby the whole man became sanctified, and set apart for God, Numbers 6:7. Christ, the holy and spiritual Head, received the consecration of God; for he was filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb, and as a perfect Nazarite continued separate until his baptism, at which time the holy anointing being upon him in a visible manner, did furnish him for his ministry, and fit him to be a Priest unto God; this holy unction descended on him, as it did on the Head of Aaron, not only drenching his beard, but all parts of his body also, even to the skirts of his garment, “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,” John 10:36,  “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,” Hebrews 9:14.
The Head beareth the glory, whether it be the holy mitre, and sacred crown, appertaining to the priest, Exodus 29:6; or the royal diadem appertaining to secular princes, and crown of gold, Psalms 21:3. The Son of God not only beareth the glory of priesthood, but the highest glory of his Father’s house. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour,” Hebrews 2:9.
The Head is the principal object of envy and fury, most threatened and struck at, and receives the signs of death. Jezebel threatened the Head of Elisha, 2 Kings 6:31. The wife of Heber struck at the Head of Sisera, Judges 5:26. The beast appointed for sin-offering was to have hands laid upon the Head; this was a sign of death. Christ was the principal object of envy and hatred. The devil envied him, the Jews hated him without cause, Herod threatened him. One while they waited to kill him; at another time they led him to the brow of the hill, that they might cast him down headlong to destroy him. At last they came and laid their hands upon him in the garden, where he received the sign of death, after his most bitter agony; and was soon after offered up on the cross; as a public sacrifice: “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,”
1 Corinthians 15:3. “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us,” 1 Corinthians 5:7.
The Head is the subject of humility. When men have been much affected with some great thing, they put earth upon their Heads.
1 Samuel 4:12.
The Lord Jesus was a subject of great humility, much affected with God’s providences, and men’s wickednesses. He wept when Lazarus died. Christ wept, when the Jews rejected him to their own destruction, Luke 19:41. The devil, Herod, Pontius Pilate, with the Jews, were not content to persecute and drive the Son of God to corners: but after they had agreed with Judas to betray him, they endeavored, as much as lay in them, to take this blesses Head off from his body; nothing would satisfy them, till they had slain the Lord of life and glory.
But notwithstanding all, the Head is the glory of the man. And so is Jesus Christ the glory of God, the glory of his church. She glories in him: “he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem,” Song of Solomon 5:16.
The Head showeth the greatest signs of pity and sympathy to the poor, distressed, and afflicted members. Christ, being in all things like unto us, sin only excepted, hath showed no small signs of pity and sympathy, as one touched with our infirmities, as appears both before he left the world, and since. 1. He comforts them by good words and promises; he will not leave them comfortless, but will come to them. 2. He assureth, that he would send another Comforter, the Holy Spirit. 3. He prays the Father to take them into his care and protection. 4. He cries out from heaven, when violence is offered to them: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Acts 9:4.
The Head is the governing part of the whole man; the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet are all governed by the Head. The Son of God, as Head of the Church, hath the government on his shoulders: his members hear his voice, and keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous unto them.
The Head loves the body that belongs to it, and is concerned night and day for its prosperity. Jesus Christ loves his Church, and all his members. He died to save and redeem them, he shed his blood to wash them, and went to heaven to prepare a place for them, and is concerned for their prosperity and welfare: he will come again from thence to solemnize the glorious marriage, and receive them unto himself, that where he is, there they may be also. “I love them that love me,” Proverbs 8:17. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,” Titus 2:14. “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” John 14:3.
The Head receiveth reverence and respect, love and honour, from the body and the members. The son of God receiveth reverence and respect, love and honour from the Church, and all its members, when others despise him, and account him an imposter and deceiver. But the church says, he is the son of God, both Lord and Christ, Lord of glory, Lord of all the princes of this life, the Head of angels, the choicest and chiefest of ten thousand: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,” 1 Peter 1:8. He is precious in their esteem: his name is as ointment poured forth.
The natural Head is joined but to one numerical and physical body. The Son of God, the mystical Head, is joined to many numerical and physical bodies: he is not only Head of angels, even of all principalities and powers, but of all men in some sense; and to the Church, and every true member thereof, in a more special and peculiar sense; “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:3, “even as Christ is the head of the church,” Ephesians 5:23.
The natural Head is joined to the physical body, by fleshly bonds and ligaments, veins and sinews, nerves and arteries, etc. Jesus Christ is joined to the mystical Head, by spiritual and more lasting bonds; as the bond of voluntary choice, or promise, and invisible union. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” John 15:16. “Because I live, ye shall live also,”  John 14:19. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one,” John 17:23.
The natural Head is sometimes sick, being liable to many distempers of very dangerous consequence, and being so, it cannot help the body. The Son of God is never sick, always in a capacity, not only to help his sick body on earth, but also against all diseases; much more permanent than the angels of God, dwelling where sickness cannot approach: “and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain,” Revelation 21:4.
A natural Head doth many times fall asleep, and so becomes insensible, and incapable of securing its body and members, at that juncture of time. But the Son of God is the Angel of God’s presence, and made the Keeper of Israel, who neither slumbers, nor sleeps.
A natural Head is weak, and wants help itself; for there is no man so wise, but may receive additions from others, and doth so in all arts and sciences: yea, the angels themselves have made known to them by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God, and are in some respects charged with folly. The Son of God is not weak, wants no help from other men, in respect of any arts or sciences whatsoever: for if the first Adam had such strength of wisdom and knowledge as to give names to all things, suitable to their natures, who was but earthly; much more the second Adam, who was the Lord from heaven. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, “ Colossians 2:3.
A natural Head may afford some small help to the body, but cannot bless what it affords. The Son of God cannot only afford suitable help to the body, and members, but can bless the help to them, bless society and communion, bless word and sacraments, bless lenitives and corrosives, rod and staff, make all things work together for good, Romans 8:28.
A natural Head may be broken, dashed in pieces, and lose its power of helping the body, and members. The Son of God, though he was hard laid to, and much struck at, by the powers of darkness, yet could they never reach high enough to break his head, to dash him and destroy his power, but were destroyed themselves in the very attempt; “And having spoiled principalities and powers,” Colossians 2:15. He bruised the head of the combatant, Genesis 3:16.
A natural Head may die. Where is then its help? The Son of God hath passed through the gates of death, hath conquered him that had the power of death, and can never die, death hath no more dominion over him: he ever lives to make intercession for the saints; lives for evermore.


  1. This showeth the great love and goodness of God in giving such a Head.
  2. The great love of Christ, and his wonderful condescension in stooping so low, as to become a Head to poor mortals.
  3. What a happy condition the Church and members of Christ are in. (1.) Interested in the same love with the Head. (2.) Under the same degree of election with the Head. (3.) Allied to the same relations, interested in the same riches, and assured by membership of the same life and immortality in the world to come: because I live, ye shall live also, John 14:19.
  4. Affords a very great motive to all men to seek union and membership with him, because as he is, so shall they be also hereafter in the next state: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is, 1 John 3:2.