Catch that greeting in the closing? “All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household” (4:22). Converts amongst the ruling elite!
This letter to the church at Colossae is from both Paul and Timothy (1:1). How much time do you spend praying for others? As if Paul did not have enough else to do he says he’s also been praying for this church without ceasing (1:9).
Paul reminds us of what John told us in his Gospel, that all that is was created by and for Jesus (1:16). He is also the head of the body, the church (1:18).
I have wondered if with all the interest today in angels and all the statues of them, if we do not have people who are worshiping the angels, against which Paul speaks in 2:18. The verses following (20-23) refer to traditions of man which transgress the commands of God. They “seem” to be good, but when looked at carefully in light of Scripture they are known to be deficient, fraudulent. We MUST use the minds God has given us and look at life carefully and thoughtfully.
Paul really goes from preaching to meddling in 3:12-17. He commands us to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, bear with one another and forgive one another–just as Christ has forgiven us. The clincher is that last clause. And lest these folks have not read any of his other letters he tells the wives to submit to their husbands, the husbands to love their wives, children to obey their parents, and fathers not to exasperate their children (3:18-21). I think this latter means to discipline and teach them but not to be overly hard on them. They are children and deserve some childhood.
I get the idea from Paul’s admonitions to prayer (here 4:2-3) that he expects us to be praying a LOT more than most of us do. How can we be more in prayer?
Use wisdom and the grace God dispenses on us all to speak rightly to each and every individual (4:5-6). Note the name Onesimus at 4:9. We will encounter this name again in Paul’s letter to Philemon and learn how this man came to be a messenger for Paul. Among others, Luke too was with Paul during his writing of this letter (4:14; think back to Acts and Luke’s travels with Paul). 4:18 does not mean that Paul wrote the entire letter in his own hand, but only that he wrote the latter portion. He most likely dictated the rest.
Proverbs: Honey is good for you, but anything in excess can make you sick. Don’t be a nuisance to those around you. Notice the word pictures painted in today’s reading. I once shared these latter two verses and told of the pastor who was counseling a woman. She told of how her husband mocked her and berated her faith. The pastor asked her if she had tried heaping burning coals on his head (meaning being kind to him). She replied, “No, but I did try pouring boiling water on him once!” After the service a woman came up to me and grinning she said, “Pastor, that wasn’t funny.” And she proceeded to name a brother of her husband and said that his ex-wife DID that to him. I knew her brother-in-law and had met the ex and I laughed.