Real People with Real Struggles

Did you spend some time reading Colossians four yesterday? Did anything pique your interest? Unless we dig a bit beneath the surface, we might miss some important details hidden in this small concluding chapter. Paul lists several names—these were real people with real hurts and challenges. His list includes one who would later betray him as well as one who Paul experienced a sharp conflict with (in the past) but now viewed as a valuable fellow-minister.

I encourage you to look up Scripture references that your Bible lists as you work on this chapter. It will help you discover more about the people Paul lists and give you a broader understanding of the content in this chapter.

Ready? Pray before you begin and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight and understanding as you read chapter four again and then work on the questions below.

  1. The opening verse of chapter 4 seems to be more closely related to the ending of chapter 3. What is the principle promoted here? One of the “beloved brothers” that Paul mentions in these closing verses is a runaway slave.
  1. Do these instructions for slaves and masters seem to indicate that Scripture supports slavery? Why or why not?
  1. How would you answer someone who claims that Scripture advocates slavery?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/