Tricky bits... Colossians 1:24

This will be the beginning of a new series on my blog. I'll be looking at tricky verses and parts of the Bible. Here is the verse concerned

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24)
Context of Colossians 1 ESV or NIV
All contributors are welcome. My thoughts so far...
  1. Paul suffers on behalf of the Colossian church.
  2. This is part of Christ's afflictions in that the suffering of his people continues (Christ's death, redemption and sufferings are complete).
  3. Before Christ returns he suffers in the members of his body
  4. This suffering is limited (and will be complete when he returns).
  5. Paul contributes to this so the Colossians don't have to.



Ruth said... 4/26/2007 2:26 am  

I'm reading this section of Col this morning...would be interested to know what you think this verse means.

I like the idea for these posts. What other verses are tricky? Good things to discuss and meditate on further.

Mark said... 4/26/2007 1:23 pm  

My two cents worth ...

Its helpful to go back to Paul’s own conversion to understand the organic connection between Jesus (the head) and his church (the body). As Paul (theapostleformerlyknownassaul) is confronted on the Damascus Rd, he realises that he isn’t just persecuting the Christian church, but is actually persecuting Jesus himself:

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:5)

Thus, as Paul is called to minister as the apostle to the Gentiles, he is called to suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name (Acts 9:15-16). The inclusion of the Gentiles, commanded in the Great Commission, and inaugurated at Pentecost, still awaited fulfilment through Paul’s ministry.

In this way, Paul reveals the “mystery” of the hope of glory in Christ to the Gentiles (Col 1:27), and in doing so faces much hardship and persecution. Thus, as Jesus suffered in the persecution of his people, so Jesus suffers in the persecution of his apostle. But this suffering waits to be “fulfilled”, because without Paul’s ministry and his gospel proclamation to the nations, the Gentiles would be left in darkness rather than the kingdom (1:13), and the body of Christ (ie. his church) left incomplete.

mike said... 4/26/2007 10:56 pm  

Cheers for the comment :)

Radagast said... 5/04/2007 7:15 pm  

For what it's worth, I think the NIV does better justice to the Greek.

I agree with your (1), but not your (5) -- I think the key idea is Paul is suffering on behalf of the Church by preaching the Gospel (cf 2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

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