As the gospels give us historical, narrative, and illustrative depictions of Jesus in his earthly ministry, epistles like Colossians give us a perspective of Jesus in His glory and divinity, from the insights of the apostle Paul. Paul wrote to remind the Church at Colossae of Jesus’ position both as the Christ and as God in the flesh. Deviations from sound doctrine were circulating the church of Colossae, as Gnosticism denied Jesus as being fully God and various forms of mysticism leaked into the church. Yet today we still remain very much like the church of Colossae living amidst a world that denies Christ’s preeminence and power. Forms of mysticism in the guise of political correctness, enlightenment and religious tolerance subtly infiltrate our faith as we are bombarded with this kind of rhetoric all day long through media, print and daily life. But Colossians emphasizes assurance and hope in Christ despite the emptiness of cultural relativism. It inspires the reader to embrace his or her identity in Christ as one who has been made alive by the Messiah. Paul particularly writes to the Colossians from prison in Rome with a burden for this church to know who Christ is in full and to avoid all of the empty religious and philosophical distractions that surround them. But he corrects them with tender care and concern, as to point them in the right direction in their faith. Paul’s pastoral gentleness forges trust that compels them to consider his advice and persevere in what they know is true about Christ. As he writes, Christ remains the focus, shining forth as the radiant Lord that Paul met while still he was still Saul on the road to Damascus. Full of power. Full of glory. Full of life-awakening grace. He shines forth as God. And Paul longs for the church at Colossae to know this Jesus. Not the Jesus that those outside may claim Him to be. But the One whom Paul has been radically changed by and lives to preach about. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we learn a few more characteristics of Jesus regarding His eternal manifestation and ultimate authority in Colossians chapter 2. I love that we have a Savior who embodies both humanity and divinity. He knows what it’s like to live broken and weary in this world. He knows what pain is. He’s not a foreign or distant authority. But He also knows what it’s like to reign eternally in peace, righteousness and hope. And He extends the same to us if we would take it. Only Jesus has the ability to raise us to life again. May we let Jesus be the hope we profess and the Lord we commit to in every way possible. For He is the wellspring of life. The all-compassionate ruler. And He longs to draw us into His holy gates. Receive His invitation and enter into the mystery of God which is Christ Jesus, our Lord. Our hope. Our Salvation. Our everything.
Summary of Colossians 2
Paul writes to the Colossians and Laodiceans that he struggles alongside them and wants them to be encouraged in their faith; Paul reassures them that he is with them in spirit; Paul exhorts them to keep walking rooted in Jesus; Paul tells them to not be carried away by empty arguments of deceit and philosophies that are popular in the region; Paul teaches them about the particulars of Christ’s divinity; Paul talks about circumcision metaphorically in relation to one’s fallen humanity; Paul reminds them of baptism in which they died to the flesh and were raised to life in Christ; Paul further expounds upon the significance of God doing away with sin in our flesh, making us alive in Christ; Paul declares that Jesus has triumphed over the powers of this world; Paul encourages the Colossians to stay loyal to what they have been taught and not to be carried away by various forms of asceticism and angel worship; Paul again reminds them they no longer have to submit to certain regulations because they’re in Christ now and have died to those old ways of living.
Jesus in Colossians 2
Jesus as Christ and God incarnate is a mystery (v. 2)
Jesus possesses all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (v. 3)
Jesus is who we put our trust in (v. 5)
Jesus is who we walk with (v. 6)
Jesus is our foundational root (v. 7)
Jesus possesses all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (v. 9)
Jesus is the head of all rule and authority (v. 10)
Jesus enables us to abandon the sins of the flesh (v. 11)
Jesus buries us with Him in baptism (v. 12)
Jesus raises us with Him in baptism (v. 12)
Jesus was raised from the dead by God the Father (v. 12)
Jesus has made us alive with God (v. 13)
Jesus has forgiven all our trespasses (v. 13)
Jesus cancelled the record of debt that was against us (v. 14)
Jesus nailed our debt to the cross (v. 14)
Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities (v. 15)
Jesus shamed the rulers and authorities (v. 15)
Jesus triumphed over the rulers and authorities (v. 15)
Jesus is the substance of what is to come (v. 17)
Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, the church (v. 19)
Jesus joined us to Him in His death (v. 20)
Jesus freed us from the elemental spirits of the world (v. 20)
“For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority.” – Colossians 2:9-10 –
Questions for Today:
- How can I let the truth of Jesus Christ in God’s Word help me combat the lies of the world?
- Considering that Jesus has power over all rulers and authorities on earth, do I submit myself to Him as the ruler of my own life?
- Why is it important to remember that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Jesus?
- What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my walk with Him today?