In today’s (chronological) Bible reading… Philemon & Colossians… we read 2 letters Paul sent out at the same time. But, they are VERY different letters.
Paul’s letter to Philemon is the most personal letter we have of Paul’s. This letter is a personal appeal – from friend to friend – concerning the release of a slave.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a doctrinal statement concerning the pre-eminence of Christ, because false teachers were saying Jesus is just one of many “reflections” of God. But Jesus is unlike EVERY other person who has ever lived… and He is unlike ANY other god.
There is a reason the “name of Jesus Christ” makes all the difference in the world!
Suppose we could substitute Jesus for each of the 7billion people who are living on Earth. Imagine what this world would be like… no more crime, no more oppression, no more corruption, no more abuse. Day or night, a 5yr-old child would be safe in the most dangerous neighborhood in the world. Prisons would be empty; there would be no need for them. Homes would be filled with laughter and peace. No one would ever go hungry.
Just as the gospel rebuilds lives, it also rebuilds families and communities and even nations.
In this letter, Paul explains what it means to do everything in “the name of the Lord Jesus”. Paul intended this to be more than just a phrase that is tacked onto the end of prayers. This was an invitation to bring Jesus into every part of every family, community, and church… so that each and all could be transformed.
The more we have of Jesus in us, the more we will be like Jesus for those around us. As this happens, the world around us will notice, and lives will be changed for the better.