Anchored in Christ: KYB for Term 3, 2021
The books of Colossians and Philemon address intriguing and overlapping questions. Is Jesus God? Why did he come to earth? And what difference does knowing him make in my life?
In Colossians Jesus is revealed as preeminent and sufficient in all things, the centre of the universe, sovereign in power. In Philemon we see him active in the lives of his followers restoring relationships and renewing unity.
The apostle Paul, and his co-worker Timothy, wrote these letters to believers living is a small town in modern day Turkey. Paul desperately wanted these new followers of Jesus to have a full, rich and complete understanding of Jesus. He wanted them to know why Jesus is supreme above all human traditions, other religions, or worldly knowledge and wisdom. He wanted them to put their trust in Jesus knowing he is able to meet their every need. Jesus is the risen and reigning supreme Ruler over everything in existence! All wisdom and knowledge dwell in Jesus! All authority and power dwell in Jesus!
Paul also wrote to show the believers how to live out their faith daily, in practical ways, so that God would be honoured and others will want to know him too. Reading Colossians helps us to know who Jesus is and what a difference he can make in our life and, through us, in the lives of others.
The church at Colossae met in Philemon’s home. Paul’s letter to Philemon concerns his runaway slave, Onesimus. Onesimus was now a follower of Jesus and wanted his master’s forgiveness. How intriguing. Why did Paul involve himself is such a personal issue? Through this letter, Paul showed that faith in Jesus transforms all our relationships. Even masters and slaves can be brothers in the Lord!
Reading Philemon prompts us to consider how we treat others, including those who are not like us. It encourages love, acceptance and forgiveness. It brings hope that, through Jesus, our broken relationships can be healed and restored too. How much our world needs to hear this today!