Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints.
This book starts out in a similar fashion as Ephesians and Philippians, two of the four prison epistles, in that it is from Paul identifying himself as an apostle by the will of God to the church in the particular city or region.
What strikes me as interesting is the phrase “since we heard of your faith.” According to both the ESV Study Bible’s commentary and the Spirit Filled Life Bible’s commentary, this church is a result of the outgrowth of Paul’s three-year ministry to those in Ephesus. The founder and teaching pastor of the church at Colosse, about 100 miles east of Ephesus, was Epaphras, a native Colossian.
The delight of any teacher is fruit in the form of continuation of the teaching. In other words, to disciple a person who then teaches others is the “end game” of any teacher.
I’ve been teaching kids since 1995. I can tell you, without a doubt, there is great joy and rejoicing in my heart when one of my former students continues in the faith into adulthood, let alone goes to Bible college, becomes a missionary, a teacher, or leader in the church.
Notwithstanding, I cannot fully comprehend or begin to understand the depth of joy that this news brought Paul, while in a Roman prison, of the existence of a church plant in Colosse and of their “faith in Christ Jesus” and “love for all the saints.”
Questions for further thought:
- Can you think of any examples in scripture of this type of evangelism and discipleship?
- Does this apply to personal mentoring or 1 on 1 discipling? Can you think of any examples?
- How does this passage strike you?
- How important is it for a church to be fruitful in this manner?
Search the Scriptures:
- John 4:39
- 1 Corinthians 4:17
- Acts 18:24-26
- Matthew 28:18-20
- Deuteronomy 34:9
- Exodus 24:13
- 2 Kings 2
- 1 Corinthians 3:5-9