“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments” (Colossians 2:1-4).
There are two things in Colossians that Paul refers to as a “mystery.” One is the indwelling of Christ in us through the Holy Spirit. The other, mentioned in today’s passage, is Christ himself, the incarnation of the Son of God as a human being. And what comes to us as a result of this mystery? Paul refers to the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
We sometimes think of the Bible having all the wisdom and knowledge we need. In one sense that is true. But the Bible, as inspired and important as it is, is not the object of our worship. Jesus rebuked the Jewish leaders for mistaking devotion to scripture as devotion to God. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). It is Jesus himself that holds all, “The treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Paul emphasizes this for an important reason: “That no one may delude you with plausible arguments.”
Most people do not know Jesus. Most people are not familiar with the historical evidence from scripture about Jesus’ identity. They often have their own ideas about Jesus, but those ideas fall short of describing the reality of Jesus. They think Jesus was a good man, or a good teacher, or a uniquely spiritual man. But Jesus is much more than these. He is God in human flesh.
Have you ever had a conversation with a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness about Jesus? Their ideas about Jesus are wrong because they are not based on scripture. Have you heard a Buddhist or Atheist talk about Jesus? They also have wrong views about him and thus they cannot come to him. They have all kinds of arguments that lead them in the wrong direction. And, sometimes, they can be persuasive. Paul notes that such arguments can be “plausible.” They can sound right but not actually be based in reality. But knowing Christ and having his indwelling presence can help us overcome so called plausible arguments, that we might share the truth of Christ with others.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Jesus reveals himself in scripture. How can you be prepared to correct others about Jesus in a humble way?