Paul writes the Colossians to assure them that Jesus is enough grace, power, glory, and today we consider the fact that Jesus is enough wisdom. Because Jesus is the very image of the invisible God (1:15), He is the perfect, complete Word of the Father to us. Jesus is our understanding, our wisdom.
Summary of the Text: Paul wants the Colossians and the Laodiceans (the closest neighboring church) to know that he is laboring mightily for the gospel (1:29-2:1). Paul’s “conflict” or “struggle” is his carrying out of the mission of God through preaching Jesus, warning all men, teaching all men with wisdom, as well as his suffering (1:24-25, 28-29, cf. Phil. 1:30, 1 Tim. 6:12, Heb. 12:1). Paul understands that his race/struggle is perhaps even more valuable to those who have never met him (2:1). If they have heard of Paul, if they know about his ministry of proclaiming Jesus, Paul wants them to know he isn’t living it up, relaxing in luxury. He’s out in the fray. He’s leading the charge. He’s at the head of the infantry, and this is so that their hearts may be comforted (2:2). Paul explains that he hopes this knowledge will drive them to love one another even more, and that it will drive them to draw on the “riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God” (2:2). As they understand more fully who Jesus is, it will equip them more fully to be involved in what Jesus does. Paul just finished saying that he is rejoicing in his suffering because it is another way that Jesus is being proclaimed, the mystery hid from ages and from generations is now manifest in the gospel (1:26). This is the riches of God’s glory even among the gentiles: Christ in them (1:27).
But it’s not just what’s in them. It’s what’s in Christ: “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3). And Paul is underlining this point because he knows that there are other words on offer. There are other men with different messages, with “enticing words” (2:4). But Paul wants to encourage them, though he is absent from them, and he rejoices in their military formation and courage in Christ (2:5). So the central exhortation is for them to walk the way they were born. Continue the same way they started (2:6). It was the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus that turned them from enemies into friends, and Paul urges them to hold fast to that word, grow up into that word. It wasn’t a particular experience. It wasn’t a feeling. It isn’t an elitist club. It was the message of truth that Jesus is Lord of All and has begun to bring peace to all things through the blood of His cross (1:20). And the telltale sign that this grace has taken root and is flourishing is overflowing thankfulness (2:7). Continue Reading…