Knowing our King | Colossians 2:3 | "All the treasures"
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Our verse today is, of course, speaking of Jesus and is a conclusion to the last 8 or so verses. Remember verses 1-2 of this chapter show us Paul’s heart, that he desired that these people, and as many who have not seen his face, would be comforted. He desires that they have love, assurance, and acknowledgment of the mystery of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It seems that the key to understanding the mysteries of God lies in knowing Christ. That is what I gather from these verses and that is in agreement with what 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 teaches us as well. That on the hearts of unbelievers there is a vail but that “vail is done away in Christ.” That same chapter teaches us that when a heart turns to the Lord “the vail shall be taken away.” Paul loves this illustration of not seeing things clearly, and it is no wonder why, he had been vailed in his heart until he believed and even went 3 days having to be led by the hands of others into the city of Damascus, and finally, to Ananias’s house where he received the Holy Ghost and his eyes were opened and he saw clearly.
This event from the life of Paul serves as a wonderful illustration and it is the position the Colossian church is in, to an extent. There is a group of false teachers trying to interpret Jesus and his coming to earth from their philosophical point of view, and their teaching is robbing Christians of the truth and strengthening the veil that is on the hearts of unbelievers. Remember the dilemma in this book is that this false teaching is invading the churches of this area and is known as one of the earliest heresies in church history, the teaching of Gnosticism. Today there are not many organized sects of Gnostics, but their ideas go on today and are held by the new age movement, to some extent or another. You may have heard of new agers talk of enlightenment, spiritual consciousness, or an awakening. These all have their stem in Gnosticism. They were teaching that there were higher plains of consciousness that could be attained by “Sophia”[Greek word used here for wisdom] and gnosis[the Greek word used here for knowledge]. They taught that spiritual enlightenment came through knowledge and wisdom, especially concerning the spiritual world. You would have a revelation of truth and understand the secrets of the universe. They believed that Christ was an angelic type of figure who brought the message of “gnosis” or knowledge which was the only way we too could be enlightened, others believed that Jesus was just a human who had achieved “enlightenment.”(Paul refutes their view of Christ in chapter one by showing him as the creator of men and angels 1:16) Most modern-day Gnostics group Jesus in with Buddha, Gandhi, Confucius, and others they believed to have had this gnostic/spiritual awakening. They also believed the wisdom and knowledge needed to be enlightened was hidden and most men would never see it and be enlightened.
I gave this brief background of their beliefs to point out what a direct shot Paul takes at this teaching and its teachers. This one verse goes right to the throat of their teaching and decapitates the whole system of belief with just eleven words. Notice how closely it relates to the true enlightenment of a man, not that is received by knowledge but the enlightenment that Paul received by faith when he received Christ and was filled with the Holy Ghost. It is a teaching's proximity to the truth that makes it so dangerous. If you would really see things for what they were and understand the truths about this world and the one to come then you will have to know Christ and know him more and more. If you would be “filled with all the fullness of God” you will have to “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge(gnosis).” [Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.] Friend the love of Christ passes knowledge(gnosis)!! His ways are beyond finding out! If you will know him it will be by grace through faith and then you can add to your faith as Peter teaches us(2 Peter 1:5). Don't be deceived, no man has ever been saved by knowledge of the truth but by faith in the truth, Jesus("I am the truth)!
Dear reader, if you are looking for fulfillment in any other avenue, whether it is through “gnosis” like the Gnostics teach, or through pleasure like the hedonist teach or, through good works like religions teach, let me tell you, it cannot be found anywhere but in Jesus Christ. It is in this sense all the treasures are hid in him, as our verse says! He looks meek and mild while here on this earth, and as Isaiah said “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” While he certainly wasn’t rich on this earth he was rich in all spiritual blessings! If you would be rich in all the treasures of wisdom, in all knowledge, in all joy and peace, and every other thing this world is longing for and searching for in all the wrong places, then look to Jesus, In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!
"Oh, it's not what you see that makes me a King! Treasures unseen!"