Paul now begins to unpack for the Colossians what it means that he is a servant of the gospel (v. 23; cf. apostle in v. 1). Verse 24 reveals both the cost and the privilege of being a servant of the gospel. While Christ's atoning suffering is complete once for all, his sufferings continue through his servant Paul who has been entrusted in a special way with a stewardship (25b) to make known to the Gentiles the mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (26-27). Paul suffers (with rejoicing!--v. 24a) as he labors and struggles (with God's energy!--v. 29) in order to present the Colossians mature in Christ (28d). He does this through warning and teaching them God's Word (28bc).
Νῦν χαίρω ἐν τοῖς παθήμασιν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
καὶ ἀνταναπληρῶ τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου ὑπὲρ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἡ ἐκκλησία,
(let me explain what is happening in my sufferings which also explains my joy in my sufferings and also what I mean that my sufferings are for your sake:) in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς
(let me explain more about my unique role on behalf of the church:) I became a servant of the church because a stewardship from God was given to me for you,
πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ,
(my stewardship is to) make the word of God fully known,
τὸ μυστήριον τὸ ἀποκεκρυμμένον ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν γενεῶν
(by Word of God I am especially referring to ) the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations
- νῦν δὲ ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ,
but now it is revealed to his saints.
οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ θεὸς γνωρίσαι τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν,
(Let me say even more about this mystery:) God chose to make known to the [saints] how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery,
ὅ ἐστιν Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης•
(Here is the deepest explanation of the mystery:) [the mystery] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
ὃν ἡμεῖς καταγγέλλομεν
(The way we make known the word of God is that) we are proclaiming Him,
νουθετοῦντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον
( in that we are) warning everyone
καὶ διδάσκοντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ,
and ( in that we are) teaching everyone with all wisdom,
ἵνα παραστήσωμεν πάντα ἄνθρωπον τέλειον ἐν Χριστῷ•
in order that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
εἰς ὃ καὶ κοπιῶ
(the means to that end is that) I am toiling for the maturity (of the saints) ,
ἀγωνιζόμενος κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει.
( in that I am) struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.