Some have estimated that the Old Testament has 613 laws by which the Jew was to pattern his or her life. Can you imagine?! The New Testament does not have an extensive code like the Old Testament. Paul summarizes the expectations of you and me as a disciple of Jesus very simply when he says in Col 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
What does that mean? The word “whatever” includes everything. It is a reference to all “words” and “works.” Nothing is excluded.
What is Paul asking me to do? Our words and works are to be in harmony with the name of the Lord Jesus. The concept of a person’s “name” was a reference to all that the person represented. Paul also uses the description “Lord Jesus,” not just the name “Jesus.” This is significant because it shows the exalted position of Jesus. He is our Lord because he is God the Son.
Constable summarizes this concept by saying,
“We should say all words and practice all deeds in harmony with the revelation of Jesus Christ, namely under His authority and as His followers.”
This simple verse encompasses all of life. All of my life is to be lived in harmony with who Jesus revealed himself to be! I am to bring all of my words and works under his leadership because he is my God. The Bible makes no distinction between “secular” and “Christian” work. All words and all work should be done the same way, under the leadership of Jesus and in harmony with his will.
Father, thank you for making the expectations of a disciple of Jesus so clear. All of my life is to be lived for you and in harmony with who Jesus is and has called me to be. That is so simple and yet so hard. By your gracious enabling, help me to bring all my words and my works under your leadership and help me to live with the attitude of thanksgiving that is also mentioned in this passage.
Following Jesus with you,