1I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. 2I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. 5For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong. Colossians 2:1-5
On three occasions when Jesus wanted to describe the Kingdom of God and how people who know Him live, He used references to treasure. There was a treasure buried in a field (Matthew 13:44), a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46), and a treasure in the storeroom (Matthew 13:52).
So it is a beautiful thing when the Apostle Paul declares that in Jesus Christ lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. You and I have not exhausted the treasure that remains in Him. This treasure will shape our lives and our loves. It will shape how we think and how we live. It will bring us into the very knowledge of God. It will bring us into the fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Here’s a strange thing about our treasure and the affections of our heart: they really do shape our identity. Treasure the applause of people and your character will be shaped by that pursuit. Treasure external beauty over strength of character and you will be shall like that. Treasure security through the accumulation of wealth or stuff over the wealth of relationships and friendship and your life will be empty like that. Many “treasures” disappoint, but Jesus will not.
Why is Paul agonizing for the church? Well I think he knows how easily the disciples of Jesus get drawn away from Him. Paul knows how quickly we look for bright and shiny, or simple applause over the applause of Heaven and the treasures of the narrow road with Jesus. And so, Paul’s delight in their lives and faith when its full on with Jesus is great too. Even though Paul is far from them, he delights in the news that they are walking with Jesus! That’s what disciple makers do: they agonize and they delight till we are fully valuing and treasuring Jesus.