Reflection: Colossians and Unreached Peoples
WCIU Journal: Worldview Topic
December 7, 2015
by Beth Snodderly
A small group of us were looking at the book of Colossians and commenting on the fact that the “word of God in its fullness” is “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages” … “the mystery of God, namely, Christ” and “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col. 1:25,26; 2:2,9). We realized that as humans we are not able to comprehend that “fullness.” But then we had the insight that each cultural group, including yet-unreached peoples, is able to apprehend something about Christ that other groups are not able to see. Is this what it means in Revelation 5:9 that some from every tribe and tongue and nation are worshiping God around his throne?
The big insight for me turned the Great Commission on its head. Instead of being people-focused to see unreached peoples reached (because after all there were thousands and millions who have never heard before the gospel gets to a group of people), this is GOD-focused. God’s glory will be most fully known to humans when he is reflected and understood by every people group on earth. Some want to divide up people groups into larger chunks which makes it more possible to check them off as “reached” from a human point of view. But what if God’s point of view is that EVERY tribe and tongue, no matter how small, has something to contribute to the grand picture of reflecting his glory?
The nations/people groups will teach each other something about God that we were unable to see through our own cultural lenses.
The glory of God gives [the City] light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations” (Revelation 21:23-26).