When you hear the word “alien” what picture goes through your mind? A small green creature with an enormous head and bulgy black eyes perhaps? How about you look in the mirror! We are the aliens of this world because we don’t belong here; we’re just passing through. What a revelation!
Many people fail to realize this phenomenon is true for followers of Christ. There is so much more waiting for us beyond what we can see in this moment. We belong to Jesus’ kingdom. That’s why Peter felt it necessary to warn us. “I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” How exactly are we supposed to do that?
What a wake-up call! The Preacher doesn’t want these new believers (or us) to miss out on God’s promises. He uses the example of Esau as our wake-up call. “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”Can you imagine not seeing God face to face someday?
Beyond our eternal home, the message to be at peace with others is pretty timely. It seems we can’t even scroll through social media these days without seeing all sorts of outlandish comments and hurtful communication. Who does that? We can all fall prey to one of the biggest sins in my book, gossip. We need to be focusing on living a “holy” life instead.
The Preacher does it again. We are whisked back into the Old Testament to deepen the meaning of the message he is delivering. Understanding the old covenant would have been a lot easier for the Jews in his first audience. This description of the old covenant is quite something! The Preacher calls it a “dim preview of the good things to come.” Since we’ve been living in the new covenant our whole lives, it does us good to know and appreciate the “upgrade” done for our benefit. Keep in mind your response to God for his forgiveness and grace, the gifts included in this new covenant.
One such Old Testament reference is a quote from Psalm 40:6-8 which speaks for Jesus. Do you suppose the psalmist, David knew the depth of meaning his words had as they pointed to Jesus? Perhaps David had one of those “Holy Spirit moments” when he wrote something but wasn’t sure where it came from. I know there are times when things come out of my mouth that sound “so good”—I’m sure they came from the Holy Spirit!
We have seen the author speaking to the supremacy of Jesus in these first few chapters. However, today the focus shifts to a comparison of Jesus and Moses, through whom the law was given on Mt. Sinai. For the new Jewish believer (the original audience of this Book), Moses was a very important figure in Jewish tradition. It was Moses who was used by God to free their people from slavery as they were led to the promised land. I don’t believe this text was meant in any way to downplay Moses as the hero he was. Yet, we see again that Jesus’ power is greater than what we can already fathom.
The focus then shifts to God’s whole house, the church, and who is in charge. We are the church. Moses was a servant just as are we. Jesus built the church and is in charge of the church. It’s up to us to serve and to “keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.”Sometimes that can be hard when the world closes in around us.
Did you catch how Paul acknowledged the audience? The people of Colosse are introduced as holy and faithful brothers and sisters. What a high honor Paul uses in greeting them. How would someone introduce you and your character?
Interesting to note, Paul had never visited Colosse. The church was founded by someone Paul had converted elsewhere. As often happens, young churches are easily infiltrated by unhealthy trends. It is my understanding the Colossians have been combining elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine. Paul and Timothy write to nip that in the bud so the people can get back on the right track. The timeless truths of this letter focus on the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ.