More Jesus: Reflections on Paul’s letter to the Colossians
Suitable both for individual or group study, this book will help you grow your faith as you focus your attention on Jesus through the lens of Paul’s heart-felt letter.
This is a book based on Paul’s letter to first century Christians in Colossae. Colossae was an interesting city in the ancient Roman Empire. On the one hand, it was tiny and insignificant – the least important of all the cities Paul wrote to. On the other hand, its location along a recent trade route had exposed Colossian culture to a wide variety of outside influences – political, religious, and otherwise. Into this mix came the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Unlike so many places that Paul served, he wasn’t the one who first brought the gospel to Colossae. As a matter of fact, as far as we know he never even visited. But during his years leading churches in the nearby city of Ephesus, Paul met a native Colossian named Epaphras. Epaphras listened to Paul and realized he’d found something unique and beautiful and true, so he became a follower of this Messiah named Jesus.
Some time later, Epaphras took the message of Jesus back to Colossae and planted a few churches. Meanwhile he became an important part of Paul’s team. A few years down the road, Epaphras and Paul became aware of problems among the Jesus-followers in Colossae. To put it simply, they were mixing Jesus with other religious elements – mostly from ancient Judaism with a pinch of folk spirituality and a dash of Roman propaganda thrown in. As was his custom, Paul wrote a letter in response.
He didn’t know these people personally, so he couldn’t just scold and scream like he did with the Galatians. As a result, the world received one of its most powerful literary and theological treasures – the book of Colossians.
Paul’s strategy in Colossians is simple: Give them Jesus. Paul aims to outflank all spiritual, religious, and political competitors by fixing our gaze laser-style on the complete sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Jesus is literally everything we need. Or so Paul would have us believe. Paul’s letter took the Colossians on a particular journey.
The goal of More Jesus is to guide you along that same path: to think what Paul wanted them to think, to feel what he wanted them to feel and to see what he wanted them to see.
- Arranged to guide you through Colossians in six weeks
- Study is broken out to help you study Colossians for 10-15 minutes per day
- Short introductions and seven individual brief chapters
- Thought questions to enhance personal study or to provide discussion points for small groups
- 70 footnotes to help you deepen your study and reflection
“This is not a commentary. I won’t be walking through the text phrase-by-phrase defining every word, explaining every verb tense, and describing all the relevant background information. Commentaries are great, but let’s be honest – most of you will never read one. This book is a series of reflections designed … to recreate in your heart and mind – and I hope, your life – what this letter’s original recipients experienced.” (p. 7)
“Paul’s strategy in Colossians is simple: Give them Jesus. Paul aims to outflank all spiritual, religious, and political competitors by fixing our gaze laser-style on the complete sufficiency of Jesus Christ.” (pp. 6-7)
“What our churches need most is not a bigger budget or better youth events or a new leader. We aren’t dying for lack of management techniques or public relations strategies or more relevant ways of doing church. Our problems won’t be solved by new seating arrangements or more programs of deeper teaching. What the church absolutely cannot live without is seeing the one who claims us as his own. What we always need most is a clear vision of Jesus.” (p. 57)
From the Author
I’m glad you’ve decided to take this journey with us. I hope by the end of it you see what Paul saw, what I am starting to see along with him. I hope you walk away convinced that you don’t need more than Christ. All you need is more of what you’ve already been given. All you need is more Jesus.
About the Author
Michael DeFazio is Professor of New Testament and Hermeneutics at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, where he lives with his wife Beth and their two children. He graduated from Ozark Christian College and Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA), and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He seeks to see Jesus clearly and to help others do the same. He loves spending time with Beth and the kids, serving his local church, coaching youth sports, reading good books, and (amateur!) woodworking.
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