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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)
Regarding that mystery, Paul wrote further: None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:8). The rulers of this age were Satan and his fallen angels, powerful beings who knew the Messiah was coming, but didn’t know fully what God was planning, therefore they thought if they killed Jesus, God’s plan would come to nothing. That was the kind of shallow thinking that got them thrown out of heaven in the first place (Luke 10:18, Revelation 12:7-9, Isaiah 14:12-15). They didn’t personally kill Jesus, but they influenced the people to do their evil bidding, playing right into the Father’s eternal plan which had been set in place before the world began. They didn’t understand until it was too late that Jesus had to die for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice in our place which brought reconciliation with the Father (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Ephesians 3:10— His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms… Not even the angels or demons knew what God was planning. According to this verse, God used the early Christians to make everything clear to them.
Satan had played into God’s hands when he had Jesus crucified, but he didn’t stop his attacks on us; he just switched the methods from killing to lying. He now tries to con us with spiritual bait-and-switch distractions: “Yes, Jesus may be good, but you also need to add this or that….” Or, “Jesus wasn’t as wise as Buddha or this teacher or that teacher.” To succeed against Satan’s lies, we have to stay focused on the One who embodies the fullness of the Deity (Colossians 2:9).
I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. (Colossians 2:4). It’s easy to get off on the wrong track if we’re not paying close attention. We have to stay focused on Jesus and the Bible. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (verse 8)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18). Paul continues in the next verses: Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25).
Human thinking can never fathom God’s infinite wisdom, His mystery, since we are finite while He is eternal and all-knowing. Solomon had a glimpse of this when he wrote Ecclesiastes 3:11: He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. He also wrote Proverbs 21:30: There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.
Only by staying focused on Jesus Christ and open to what the Holy Spirit teaches us through God’s word can our spiritual eyes be opened to the mystery of God’s wisdom and knowledge.
© 2018 Darvis McCoy
About the Picture: Taken in 2004 by Donna McCoy of Kilmacduagh Monastery, near the town of Gort in County Galway, Ireland. Founded in the 7th century, copies of the Bible were transcribed here in the Middle Ages by the monks.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™