ISSL Reflections June 2 2024 Colossians 1:24–2:3 Post 2

In the last post we focused on Paul’s statement, “ … I want you to know …” and that led us to consider his focus on knowing, knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

With that still in mind, today notice Paul calling our attention to “mystery.”

Colossians 1:24-2:3 (NRSVue)

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its minister according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil and strive with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.

For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you and for those in Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In this brief passage Paul mentions mystery three times.

We probably usually think of a mystery as something hidden from our understanding or something that is difficult to grasp.

Is that what Paul means by mystery?

How might you explain to someone what you think he means?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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