A Mystery Made Known
In the vastness of creation, Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son to forgive and reconcile a guilty race. I bless You today.
Read Colossians 1:24—2:5
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBearing in mind all that we have learned through science, literature, politics and the media, where does Jesus fit into it all?
We are inquisitive by nature. Not only are we curious about the world we live in but we’re also fascinated at the thought of other life forms on distant planets, or by parallel universes. It’s as though we’re hardwired for mystery. And of course there’s always more to know about everything. But the young Christians in Colossae have been told that their understanding of Christ is good but with gaps. These need filling in with deeper teaching and knowledge.
Paul, however, draws them back to God’s self-disclosure in Jesus. All that was previously hidden and mysterious has been revealed in him. Three times he uses the word “mystery” in relation to knowledge outside of Jesus, and then goes on to say that in him are hidden all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Paul is not arguing for mindless Christianity, but he is advocating that Jesus is at the center of all knowledge. He’s already told his readers that in Christ all things hold together (1:17), but he’s clearly worried about the reports he’s heard. He feels they’re being hoodwinked by clever and persuasive ideas (2:4) that will drive them away from the freedom they found in the Gospel.
Is there something about Jesus you don’t comprehend? Ask him to reveal the “mystery” to you as you seek him out.
Holy God, I long to know You in all of Your glory. Show me who You are.