In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he speaks with urgency, reminding the church of who Jesus is and what that means for the lives of those who follow him.
Paul is writing to a community of Jesus followers whose identity is being threatened by the spread of false teachings and philosophies. Due to this threat, Paul writes with urgency and with great purpose to strongly summarize and remind them of the Good News, the core Gospel truths of who Jesus was, what he did, why they follow him, and how that discipleship should change their lives. Paul leaves the Colossians with a concrete understanding of the way they must continue living as people reconciled to God.
Colossians begins as a Pauline letter, with an opening, a greeting, and thanksgiving for the community to whom he is writing. This particular letter was written while Paul was in prison, likely around the same time as his letter to the Ephesians. In Chapter 1 Paul begins to outline his reason for writing, reminding them of their spiritual roots, the sovereignty of Christ, and how it has completely transformed their identity. Therefore, they should live accordingly.
It’s important to study and understand our roots and remain connected with our community, always remembering Christ as the head of our lives. When we look to Christ’s life, we understand better how we are to live, when we understand the mystery of how his death and resurrection reconcile us to God, we see how with Christ it is possible for us to overcome the habits and inclinations that separate us from God and instead live as people who love and serve one another out of our love for God.
Have you ever needed to be reminded of who you are? Is there a time when you wondered if your faith was stronger earlier in your journey than it is today? Have you ever been overwhelmed by the many messages the world pours into you and needed someone to remind you of why you believe what you believe and what it means for your life? Have you ever needed redirection? Paul writes this letter to the Colossians as a kind of snapping his fingers in front of their faces to tune them back into their identity and their mission amidst the false teachings and philosophies filling their society.
- What is Paul telling the Colossians in this passage?
- What does this chapter tell you about the Jesus?
- What does this chapter tell you about followers of Jesus?
- Who or what competes with Jesus for your identity?