"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you," - Colossians 1:3 ESV
"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face," - Colossians 2:1 ESV
My idea this morning was to go over chapter one phrase by phrase and really look at what is being said. I was going do a survey and take a step back, to look at progressions and even try and summarize points. But as I began to read the next chapter the shift in the first verse caught my eye. So I went back and looked for that.
Verses 3-23 Have a kind of we--you--He quality. We do this. You are like this. He (Jesus) is like this.
Verse 24 (starting at the end of 23) Paul shift into I--He
Then as I read chapter two over and over again I see a different emphasis: I--He--you
'We' pray for you but 'I' struggle for you.
'Great Struggle' is hēlikos (Strong's G2245) agōn (G73) in the Greek. Hēlikos means comrade or a peer of the same age and agōn is a contest. It refers to an athlete who plays for a specific city-state and competes in their sport or weight class representing their area.
Have you ever looked at the scriptures this way?
I find it easy (or tempting) at times to cherry pick scriptures that say what I want. We can concentrate the doctrine down and cut out verses or words but in a way it is like plucking a flower. The moment you do that flower begins to die.
There is a place for that. We need to know God's mind. To cook a recipe we need a pinch of this and a handful of that but sometimes it is good to stand a few feet back and just survey something. We see amazing nuanced things when we survey and look for patterns.
I want to sense the direction of the Bible. I want to notice which way the current is flowing. I want to hear God's voice. Pray. Read. Pray. Read. Question. Step back. Lean in. Microscope. Telescope. stethoscope. Worship. Read. Form a conviction. Make a decision.
The Bible reveals Jesus and I need to see Him. I love that the Bible is autobiographical and not just biographical. God reveals Himself through the scriptures and we can go as deep as we dare. He is waiting to meet us in His book. He has 10,000 things to tell us.