Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Comment: If we send a letter it is normal for us to put our name and address on the back of the envelope. In Biblical times they started their missive by naming the sender. Paul doesn’t only give his name but his right to be listened to as an authority. As an apostle he is claiming to have seen Jesus and to be speaking with Jesus’ authority. He may well have seen Jesus during Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was on site to be involved in the stoning of Stephen to death, in Jerusalem not long after Jesus Calvary event. Certainly he was accosted by Jesus, one to one, on the road to Damascus, and given his apostolic ministry. It is as if Paul is saying ‘sit up and listen’. Why did Paul say ‘saints and faithful brothers’? Saints in the new testament doesn’t refer, as it seems to often in these times, to someone with special powers and standing with God. It was a name designating being forgiven and in the right relationship with God through faith – a vertical relationship between a believer and God. The faithful brothers refers to the horizontal relationship among believers.
‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father.‘ Has a lot more meaning than our common initial thought which is something like “I trust you and yours are well”. Grace is one of the words with the richest meaning in the Bible. He is saying ‘may you experience all the results of God being involved graciously providing the means of restoring a right relationship between Himself and sinful mankind.’ It is highlighted of course by the events of the saving substitutionary death of Christ on the cross and what followed on mankind’s behalf. And the word ‘peace’ includes the broad sense of wellbeing in every aspect of your lives.
Prayer: Help me to know in the fullest sense Your grace and peace O my God.