JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 16)

Understanding the Marriage Relationship

We have just two verses to study this week, and while the discussion will be by no means exhaustive, I hope it provides some places to consider. We cannot examine them without first considering Paul’s words in the entirety of chapter three. Too often we try to lift the verse out of context and that can get us into trouble. 

Up to this point in the letter, Paul has been writing about the supremacy of Jesus – "Jesus Only," not "Jesus And." Chapters one and two of Colossians present his teaching on this subject. Chapter three is where he then turns the corner to help the church understand how this looks for our lives. Chapters one and two, the theological underpinnings of our faith; chapter three, the practical aspects of living this out in our lives.

“1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” - Colossians 3:1-3 

So... As a result... Since... Because of… Paul states, in light of all I have been teaching you, do this. Behaviors to put aside, stop doing in verses 4-11. In verse 12, he then tells the church, because of who Jesus is, do these things. 

“12 You are always and dearly loved by God! So, robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. 13 Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. 14 For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity.

15 Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!

17 Let every activity of your lives and every word that comes from your lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. And bring your constant praise to God the Father because of what Christ has done for you!” (TPT)

Consider the following from Colossians, The Bible Project: “No part of human existence remains untouched by the loving and liberating rule of Jesus”

In verse 17, Paul begins to direct his comments to specific life circumstances. Basically, he’s saying, in light of all I have just told you, do this… Wives, submit. Husbands, love. Children, obey. Servants, obey and serve. Employees, work diligently. Hard instructions. Harder to do, and to do with an attitude that brings honor and glory to God.

In Colossae, this teaching totally disrupted the norms of that ancient society. Within the Jewish, Greek, and Roman customs, all the power and privilege belonged solely to the husband. Wives? Well, they were considered property along with the children and the servants. The wife had no rights. None! Paul is teaching a totally new way of being and doing in relationships. It was a complete paradigm shift for the readers! This new way was to give evidence of Christ’s new life within them to an unbelieving world.

Reflection Question(s):

What do you notice about marital relationships today versus during the time described in Colossae? What are the differences? What are the parallels?

Where do you need to see a shift within your own marriage relationship? 

If you are single, what is one particular way you can pray for the marriages around you?

Resource Suggestion:

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller


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