Colossians 2: Don’t Settle For Shadows

When I was a child on sunny days I liked to play with my shadow.  My friends and I would make shadow puppets, play shadow tag, and try to guess what animals the other was making with their hands.

It would be a rather silly thing to do the same thing as adults.

Yet that is what the false teachers in Colossae were suggesting:

So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in a question of food or drink, or in the matter of festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These things are a shadow cast by the coming reality — and the body that casts the shadow belongs to the king. (2:16-17)

For Paul, the best kind of knowledge is the relational understanding of knowing Jesus, not just the esoteric knowledge of the false teachers for whom Jesus was more of a concept than a person (2:2-3).

Paul also emphasizes the relational side of baptism, something some of us today may have forgotten too.  Baptism is first and foremost about being buried and raised with Jesus (2:12).  Water baptism is always imitation of and a mysterious participation in the more important reality of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection; it is never the point itself.

Maybe that is a sign of all false teaching: it promotes a religion without a full and personal relationship with Jesus.

What do you think?

Categories: Colossians | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Colossians 2: Don’t Settle For Shadows

  1. Melanie

    “Maybe that is a sign of all false teaching: it promotes a religion without a full and personal relationship with Jesus.”

    Agree completely. It is very easy to buy into a checklist kind of religion that neglects any focus on a relationship with Jesus. We find some sense of security in doing the things we think we’re supposed to do and miss out completely on the grand opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus.

  2. Grace is so scandalous that there is no wonder that we can’t totally accept it. Just like the Colossians we are far more comfortable working for it, thinking our “fulness” has to be produced through our work, at least in part. These words are delightful, but hard to believe some days: “When you come to him, that fulness comes together for you, too.”

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