Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (Colossians 1:1-2, HCSB)
As you may have guessed, this is the greeting of the letter from Paul to the church in Colossae. We usually simply call it Colossians. As we finished the book of Acts in our last Catalyst, here’s where we will turn.
There isn’t too much to say about this greeting other than the fact that Paul is with Timothy during his first Roman imprisonment. During Paul’s ministry in Ephesus (where he stayed for three years and where Timothy was the pastor), Paul led a young man named Epaphas to the Lord. Epaphras took the gospel to the cosmopolitan city of Colossae.
The gospel took root and the church of Colossae was born. But it wasn’t long until the church faced challenges (show me a church that doesn’t!). So Epaphras visits Paul – the church’s apostle – tells him the challenges, and voila! The letter to the Colossians is Paul’s response to the report.
It’s a fantastic book I know you’ll love to dig into in the weeks ahead. The reason the book stands out is because in order to get the heresy out of the church, Paul gets back to the basics. He exalts the Lord Jesus. You won’t find a higher picture of Jesus anywhere in the New Testament (except, maybe Revelation). So it’s worth a look just for that reason! But exalting Christ at the same time shows the shallowness and emptiness of the highest human thinking. It’s quite a contrast.
I’m looking forward to it and hope you will, too.