“I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.”
- Here we see Paul’s “pastoral concern for those he served. The concern expressed in these verses arose from Paul’s anxiety about the response of the Colossian Christians to the error being propagated by the false teachers. Anyone who shares Paul’s exalted concept of Christ can never be indifferent to the inroads of error.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
- Though Paul was likely chained to a Roman soldier during the writing of this letter, he refers to himself as agonizing over the Colossians, most likely in prayer. Like a parent seeing his children led astray and not being able to come to them, he fights this battle for truth in prayer and this letter expressing his concerns.
- Again we see Paul making a plea for the supremacy of Christ. He “wants” these things for the Colossian church:
- “to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love” (2a) “The Greek word for ‘encouraged’ (paraklethosin), which literally means ‘to call to one’s side,’ signifies such ideas as comfort, encouragement, and exhortation, depending on the context in which it is found. Here perhaps it means being strengthened against the onslaught of error.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
- “to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself” (2b) Paul refers back to the first part of his letter where he said the secret to living is Christ in us – the hope of glory. Nothing added to Christ. Not….
- Christ + a good job = God’s mysterious plan
- Christ + comfort = God’s mysterious plan
- Christ + uncomplicated relationships = God’s mysterious plan
- Christ alone = God’s mysterious plan
- We always want to add to it, don’t we? God’s story is not a Disney fairy tale, its much better, but requires faith – not sight.
- In Christ “lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” False teachers were claiming a higher knowledge through supernatural emanations only they had access to. Paul stresses that all wisdom is in Christ, and He lives in every believer.
- Are you agonizing in prayer over those you love who are exposed to wrong teaching? (We may not be in danger of Gnostics but just turn on your TV to find a plethora of wrong teaching out there.)
- What are you tempted to add to the equation in your life: Christ + ____________ = God’s mysterious plan?
- We can be tempted to attribute “higher” knowledge to Bible teachers, authors, or speakers and forget that we all have complete access to all wisdom through Christ. He lives in each of us. We can study, pray, and get to know Him. The more we focus on His truth, the better we’ll be able to identify the counterfeit teaching around us. What confidence does it give you to realize that all the riches of knowledge and wisdom lie in you through Christ?
Adoration: Praise God for revealing His mysterious plan through Christ to us.
Confession: Repent of any excuses you make for not spending time getting to know Christ better.
Thanksgiving: Thank God that Christ lives in you and wants to guide and help you.
Supplication: Ask God to give you His wisdom concerning one situation you are confused about right now.