1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself … (Colossians 2).
The word “struggle” comes from a word to describe “a place of assembly”—particularly a venue where Greeks assembled to celebrate their Pythian or Olympian games. It was an open place of contests where crowds came and watched elite athletes compete for a prize. In his mind Paul sees Collosae and Laodicea as such venues where spiritual contests are being won and lost.
The people there have not “seen [his] face”—but Paul imagines theirs as together they struggle in the spiritual arenas set before them. Above all things he wants them to be “encouraged” in their struggle to experience true Christian fellowship (being“knit together in love”), the “full assurance of understanding,” and the “true knowledge of …Christ Himself.” Are these three things not the gist of our Christian experience?
Lord, help us This Day to grow in our fellowship with one another, as well as in our assurance and personal knowledge of You. Amen.