Tuesday 21 October 2014

Bible Book:

“These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (v. 17)

Colossians 2:16-23 Tuesday 21 October 2014


The philosophical Paul apparently makes references to Platonicidealism in verse 17. Plato believed that reality was not what weexperience; rather, all we see are hints of it. It is like being acave looking at the back wall and seeing only shadows of the realworld thrown onto it.

For the Christian Paul, however, philosophy was not enough. Ashumans we may only be able to see a shadow of what is real, but Godhas reached out to us. God has become flesh and bones in Jesus -'substance' and not shadow. It is this substance that some of theshadows relate to. But that is not enough for us. Why have shadowswhen you can have the real thing itself? Paul reflected on what hejudged to be human efforts to talk about what matters to God, andhow we might behave. The relevance of those shadows is open toquestioning when the presence is revealed. We can check out what wethought we saw in tradition and human rules against the startlingreality of God in the flesh.

To Ponder

  • What distinctions can you make in your life or perhaps theChurch between rules and disciplines we have adopted as Christian,and the knowledge we have of Jesus himself?
  • When do our rules and regulations actually help?
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