When we think of Epaphras, we should think “service.” Paul describes Epaphras as a “fellow servant” and mentions his service three times in his letter to the Colossians. East Paris Campus Pastor Bob King told us this past weekend that Epaphras serves through his prayers, his words and his work. Yet the church Epaphras started in his hometown, Colossae, is being exposed to a warped view of the gospel—particularly the role service plays.
This warped view is part of the bad news/good news Epaphras delivers to Paul. The bad news is people are trying to convince the new Jesus community that “Jesus loves you because of what you do.” This is completely opposite of the message Epaphras taught, “Jesus loves not because of what we do but because of what Jesus has done.” The good news Epaphras delivers is that the church is resisting the warped view so far.
Like the early Jesus community, we’re susceptible to a warped view of the gospel. Sometimes, we subconsciously make a shift by thinking we need to earn Jesus’ love. We may feel we aren’t good enough for Jesus to love us. Or maybe we think if we can just do one more thing, it will be enough for Jesus. That’s not the gospel. The good news is that Jesus loves us not because of what we do but because of what he did.
Today, take a moment to reflect on the reasons you think Jesus may or may not love you. Say a prayer of confession to God, recognizing it’s easy to slip into thinking his love needs to be earned. Thank him for his love not being conditioned upon our actions.