People that have never read the full story of Jesus, which includes the entire length of the Bible, often dismiss Him as an insignificant person. The same was true of the common people who lived in Colossae. Most of what Jesus had said was watered down as “hearsay”. The citizens of Colossae concluded that Buddha and Socrates also had impressive things to say. Paul heard that the believers were sampling other teachings, promoting old traditions while worshipping statues, and angels. The defection from a pure faith in Jesus was a mixture of Jewish and Oriental beliefs.
Colossians was also written from prison and it was to be read out loud in the churches. Paul argues in a profound way that Jesus the Messiah, is not just the central person of significance in the world’s history, but Jesus is the most important figure to ever be born. That Jesus is the most powerful person of divine authority that ever walked the earth. Jesus was given the name, Immanuel, God with us, in the flesh. Jesus continues to live ‘in us’ as the Holy Spirit. His everlasting impact remains in all those who have truly died to themselves, and live reborn “in Him”. The born again Christian listener’s in Colossae shrank away from what seemed to be superior tones as the truth of Jesus was conveyed. In Paul’s humble letter to the Colossians, his claims are very much rooted in his personal experience with Jesus.
Paul is emphatic about the supremacy of Christ. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether on thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were made for Him. 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 and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you hold in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, establish and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I Paul, have become a servant.” (1:15-23)
Paul’s letter to the Colossians was clear. “Christ is all, and is in all.” As God’s chosen people we are to fiercely hold on to all the authority He gave us. We are urged to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We must forgive whatever grievances we may have against anyone. By extending the same amount of lasting forgiveness that we have received from God, we are reflecting Jesus. Once we forgive, the wrong is erased, never to be brought up again. First and foremost, we are to love those who are unkind towards us. We are to love our enemies, those people who irritate us. We are to unify our compassion with humility and gentle speech. We are led by the Spirit to allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts. We are members of One body, the Body of Christ. Let us always, in all things give thanks for the Spirit that enables us to accomplish all that the Lord has given us to do.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (3:12-17)
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
(click on BLOGGER TAB “Books of Bible” for the rest of the story)
“It is finished.” 4/20/19