We live in an age of free trials, no obligation, and cancel at any time. In every sphere of life, both sacrifice and commitment are rare and fleeting. But Jesus offers us something infinitely better: a Savior who is worth committing our lives to, even when it is costly, even when it hurts, even unto death. Jesus is not seeking spectators, but disciples who will follow the “all in” Savior who first gave His life for us.
One of the reasons we fail to welcome those in need is because we forget the extent of our own need before the Lord. Jesus reminds us of just how poor we are apart from Him so that we might rejoice in the feast He has established through His work on the cross. Through the blood of the Savior, beggars like us are welcome at the table of God.
In every sphere of life, our culture celebrates those who exalt themselves. Boastfulness is often mistaken for strength, and humility for weakness. Ever since the fall, our hearts are inherently self-focused, the result being sin, strife, and folly. But Jesus offers a better way. Through His work on the cross, He calls us to live as “after you” disciples in a “me first” world. By humbling ourselves before the exalted Savior, He lifts us up so that we might testify to the One who chose humility before glory.
Having affirmed his hope that the Colossians will persevere in the truths of the gospel, Paul goes on to reveal to the church at Colossae his passion for that very gospel and the purpose and energy it gives to him. And he does not hesitate to mention his sufferings, which are a direct result of his passion for the gospel. But not surprisingly, he readily professes that his hardships do not diminish his passion or divert his purpose related to the gospel of Christ, but instead, he keeps going because he is “in Christ".
Despite being the ultimate Prophet to whom all other prophets pointed, the Lord Jesus was rejected by friend and foe alike. Yet He proceeded to the cross undeterred, filled with compassion for those He came to save. Only such a Savior could redeem us from our sin and empower us to follow Him without fear.