Series: Jesus Manifesto
Message: Getting the Mystery Revealed
Preacher: Rebecca Murdock
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Beyond: J. Murdock
Live Purpose: Lydia Svoboda
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Colossians 1:24-2:3 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Dock Hollingsworth in his commentary on Colossians, shares the rabbinic story of a poor rabbi who lived in the city of Krakow, Poland:
He lived on the street of the Lost Angel, in the last hovel on that street, with his wife and four children. Since he was so poor, he dreamed every night about getting rich, and one night he dreamed about a treasure underneath a bridge in the city of Warsaw. So he woke up and excitedly told his wife about the dream and packed up to make the journey to find his treasure. After a long journey, he found it—the bridge was just like it was in his dream, except there was a guard. Tired from his journey, he found a place in the bushes to go to sleep, and when he woke up, the guard heard the rattling of the bushes and came up to confront him, “What are you doing here?” The simple man would not lie. He told the guard about his dream and that he dreamed that underneath that bridge was a great treasure and that he wanted to be rich. The guard said, “That is strange! Just last night I, too, had a dream about hidden treasure, but it was just a dream, so it couldn’t be true.” He said that he dreamed that in the city of Krakow, on the street of the Lost Angel, in the last hovel on that street, where lives a rabbi and his wife and four children, there is buried, behind the fireplace, a treasure. So the rabbi raced back—the long journey—went to his home, moved away the fireplace, dug underneath, found the treasure, and lived happily ever after. (p. 156)
How many of us are always seeking something new when the thing that we are already doing or already have is all we need?
Recalibrate: Paul was trying to convince people of this time that what they want is already theirs. Is this the same for us today? Are we searching in the wrong places and don’t realize what we already have?
Respond: Pray for the ability to be content with the gifts you have.
Research: Read Psalm 37, and, in particular, Verses 3-4.
Remember: “This truth is Christ Himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory” (Colossians 1:27, ICB).
Japhet De Oliveira is administrative director for the Center for Mission and Culture at Adventist Health in Roseville, California.
Read This Is For You with your child. The very last page says, “It’s a beautiful gift only Jesus can give, so unwrap it now and let love live. Jesus living in us is how love lives now. Sometimes we get this super complicated. Paul shows us through his life the two most important things that Jesus asked us to do. Love Jesus and love each other.”
The Words to Remember for this week are, “This truth is Christ Himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory” (Colossians 1:27, ICB). Have you ever thought that if you just had that super power—if you could fly or be super strong or fast—that everything would be better? Paul is telling us that it is Jesus who is the hope for glory—and we already have Him. Jesus is the best superhero ever. He is the superhero in us if we want Him to be. Ask Jesus to live in your heart so you can save the world together!
Living with the intention of helping everyone but oneself seems like a really big thing to ask anyone to do on a daily basis. More often than not, we aren’t that type of people. We do things that benefit us, or make us happy. If it happens to help someone along the way, well then, that’s great! But to live for someone else entirely is probably more than we are open to taking on more than a few times a month.
In Colossians 1:24, Paul talks about his actions being done, “for the sake of” other people (both the people of God, and God Himself). Keep in mind that Paul is in prison at this point for preaching the Gospel! And he’s telling the people that he’s doing it all for them. Imagine an innocent man dying in a prison cell and he’s writing a letter to you letting you know he’s serving time for a crime he didn’t commit—but maybe you actually did!
Jesus did the same for you and me when He died on the cross. This was a punishment for sinners accepted by the blameless God. It was all done for the sake of your salvation and mine. What is something you do for the sake of others? Why do you do it? What might God be calling you to do today for the sake of someone else?
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). The mystery of Christ in you – the power of Jesus within will transform in ways you can’t even imagine and will bestow peace in times you can’t explain. This transformation and this peace will remain an incredible mystery both to you and to the people around you. But you’ll have eternity to unravel it and understand it more.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development for ages 0-17. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
J. Murdock is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, Colorado, where he focuses on youth and young adult ministry.
Lydia Svoboda is a junior theology major at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.