Colossae was a populous and wealthy city, actually one of the most celebrated cities of southern Anatolia, modern day Turkey. By the time the apostle Paul arrived, the people of Colossae had dwindled in importance but were famous for a local angel cult. This unorthodox cult venerated the archangel Michael who is said to have caused a curative spring to gush from a fissure in the earth.
God on earth, God in human form may have been a figment of the human imagination in many religious doctrines underscoring a human desire to be near God. I personally think this has everything to do with the idea that mankind used to be close to God but has lost that connection a long time ago. This could be why Paul made it a point writing in his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 2:9):
“In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
God walking up to us in a human body, that’s as close as He can get. It does not get much better than this. And this time around, it is not a figment of our imagination. It is no angel cult, no human being who mistakes himself or herself for a deity – it’s real.
The curative spring near Colossae stood for something else we have lost: we want to be whole; and Paul adds important news to his prior statement (Colossians 2:10):
“In Christ you have been brought to fullness.”
It is easy to identify with the Colossians, I believe. It does not take a rocket scientist to surmise that we live in a broken world. We have tried very hard to run a tight ship here, but governments, rulers and monarchies have not accomplished what they were set out to do. To this day mankind struggles to rule the earth. Peace is as elusive as ever. I believe by now it’s very clear that there is no human way to arrive to fullness and wholeness on this planet, but thankfully: God has a way. The question is: do we believe Him?
It is extraordinary that God went out of His way to show us the way home. A lot of people have a hard time believing that. Even believers fall off the bandwagon at times. It happens when Christ becomes a formula instead of being real. Jesus is no formula. He makes us whole and He connects us to God – and He is the only One who can bring us everlasting peace.