Posted June 2017
In this section of Colossians, rather than trying to refute the false teachers in Colosse point by point, the Apostle Paul launches into his positive presentation of the uniqueness and complete supremacy of Jesus as Savior. He notes that Jesus is the perfect image of the invisible God because Jesus is God Himself, in the flesh. Not only is Jesus over everything in creation, even angelic beings about which the false teachers had many teachings, Jesus is also identified by Paul as being the head of the body known as The Church. Through Christ, and Him alone, Paul reveals that all things are reconciled to God, including us, by Jesus’ “peace offering” of His own life on the cross.
Now, as our sins are forgiven in Jesus as He freely bestows to us in our baptism, we again bear the image of God as His reconciled children. God once created Adam and Eve in His image. That image was lost when they sinned. That image was revealed again in Jesus and is given freely to us through the Spirit’s work in our lives through the Gospel. Paul notes that this gift of God’s grace in Christ is not only a blessing to us but to all creation. All of creation was created through Christ and for His good purposes, and will find their renewed place in His redemption of humanity.
Paul ends the chapter with what may seem like an odd statement, saying that through his own suffering he was filling up in his flesh “what was lacking in regards to Christ’s afflictions…” Paul does not mean here that what Jesus did for salvation is somehow lacking or incomplete. Rather, Paul is simply noting that his sufferings for the sake of proclaiming the Gospel are connected and a continuation of what Jesus had suffered for the sake of the Church as Paul is His faithful servant. Even in this suffering, Paul rejoices because he knows Jesus used it to further His Gospel’s work.
If you were going to present a positive picture of Jesus to someone you know, what details would you include? How would you relate those points about Jesus to your own personal relationship to Him? What Scriptures would you share to show why you presented the picture you did?