Tuesday, 11 April 2017
…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, Colossians 2:2
In saying “their hearts,” Paul is speaking of those who had not yet seen his face in the flesh from the previous verse. The conflict he had was for them in order that their hearts may be encouraged. As noted in the previous verse, Paul’s conflict was certainly a spiritual one, and in that conflict, he had striven to bring them to a point where they would be content while facing trials and troubles of their own. This was something that was (and still is to this day) expected. Being in Christ does not mean freedom from troubles. Rather, it often means facing even greater troubles. But Paul desired that they would be encouraged through their troubles.
One way for this to happen would be for them to be “knit together in love.” A unified body is a body which can support one another through times of trial. Add in love, and it is a source of great comfort and even joy. Facing trials alone can be miserable, but when facing them with others, there is strength and resolve which is often otherwise lacking. Paul prayed for this to be the case among them.
However, he desired more. He also wished for them to attain “to all riches of the full assurance of understanding.” These words look forward to the coming words as the object for which they should be encouraged and knit together. The riches are contained in the object to be mentioned, the “full assurance” is the benefit of having those riches, and the “understanding” is what make the other two possible. In understanding what he will mention, there will be full assurance, and the riches will be fully obtained. And so, he next relays what he is referring to with the words, “…to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.”
“The knowledge of the mystery of God” is that which has been revealed. A mystery is something once hidden, but now known. The “mystery of God” which Paul speaks of here is “both of the Father and of Christ.” The word “Father” is not included in many manuscripts, and thus is lacking in most translations. Regardless of this, What Paul is speaking of is what will be explained in verses 2:8 and 2:9. The mystery is that Christ Jesus reveals the unseen God to us. He is a member of the Godhead, and in him the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. This is the mystery which Paul is speaking of, and which he desires his readers to know and to understand. In so doing, They will possess the riches and have full assurance of their faith.
Life application: Paul’s words always lead the reader to Christ Jesus. He is the focal point of the Christian faith. Without Him, God is not fully knowable, but in understanding Christ, we can then understand God in a full and intimate way which brings us joy, and which also makes possible a personal relationship with our Creator. Let us follow the admonition of Scripture and fix our eyes and our thoughts on Jesus.
Heavenly Father, there are true riches in knowing Christ Jesus, and in our pursuing Him, there is full assurance that we know You and are intimately connected to You. There is no longer any separation between us, but rather there is confident hope, complete understanding, and blessed joy as we live in Your marvelous presence. Thank You for Jesus who makes all of this possible. Amen.