I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose 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. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
What Paul says in Colossians 2 points us back to chapter 1. He talks about his struggle, the hardships he is enduring and the purpose behind them all. He writes on the joy he finds in them because of this one idea that he cannot shake – Christ is his treasure. And once you get that, once you understand Christ to be your treasure and then start to act as though he is – you’ll be amazed. Amazed at what your life looks like, at what you are able to endure, and finally that this hope we read about and we hear missionaries and pastors talk about is actually real.
We are going to look at two things in Colossians. First, why does God treasure his Son. Second, why should we, as Christians, treasure Christ. And then we will end by evaluating what our treasures are.
Part 1 – Why the Father delights in the Son
Col 1:15-23 is a short section entitled the Supremacy of Christ. We are just going to walk through these verses and see what they have to say about Christ being treasured. The first 5 verses focus on the first point.
(15) He is the image of the invisible God. Christ is the visible manifestation of God’s invisible glory. Everything we cannot see of God – his immensity, his tenderness, his wrath, his mercy, his patience, his desire, his logic and power, his care. These attributes of God are perfect and work in perfect harmony with one another. His wrath never outweighs his mercy, his justice and patience work hand in hand, his greatness and largeness does not in any way detract from his ability to be personal and to hear your every prayer. All of these things were hidden from us until Christ came – and made the invisible visible with his life. Christ is our proof that God is as good as he says he is.
(15) the firstborn over all creation (16) For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. God’s supreme authority is honored by having His Son rule over all creation. Even more, Jesus had a part in Creation – He worked with his father to make all that we know a reality. Jesus’ fingerprint is on the stars and on the animals and on the angels and on us. Anything that is, is because Jesus has allowed it to be. And now with all power under his control, he continues to submit to the Father – your will be done. God the Father is glorified in having a Son with ultimate authority who is still proud to hold the title Son. This is due to their relationship.
(17) He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Jesus and God have unending fellowship. From eternity past they have and will always be together, perfectly with the Holy Spirit, distinct yet one, holy and loving. There is no, I need to take a walk because your getting on my nerves, no I just need a break from you. God the Father and God the Son intimately commune and will so forever. God is glorified to have such a relationship with his Son, and he treasures that.
(18)(20) firstborn among the dead; to reconcile to himself all things. Jesus’ sacrifice is and will ultimately restore all of Creation back into what God the Father had originally intended it to be. Not only did it restore, it returned. Because of what Christ did, God is able to communicate with us again and spend eternity with us. Jesus rescued God’s chosen loved ones. God treasures Jesus’ gift. Jesus gave himself for us so that God may have us.
(19) For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. (Matt 17:2,5) God is the most beautiful, the most awesome, the most excellent reality that can and will ever exist. God doesn’t need anything, he is most satisfied in himself. The things that please him most are the things which remind him of himself and praise his glory. That would be totally prideful, but he is God and there is nothing higher. In Christ God see himself, all his power, all his mercy, all his infinite qualities so that Paul calls it “all his fullness.” And God looks at and says yes, I am pleased, you are my treasure.
God is supremely delighted in His Son. He looks at him and finds joy. And now on the opposite end, Paul says all these things about God treasuring his Son and he says – now you, which is us, this is why you should treasure Jesus.
Part 2 – Why we can/do delight in Jesus
Jesus is the beginning middle and end of your Christian walk. He’s the reason your on this path, the one guiding you along it, and the goal at the end of it.
Because of Him:
(21) We are no longer alienated from God. The next part of our story begins with a feast as we see in Revelation. Now God is at the head of the table. Once we were enemies, I want you to think about were enemies are in relation to God’s table. They are probably not in the same neighborhood or even country. They are far off and cut off from him. Servants have it a little bit better, servants are on the premises, some are even in the house. Now we go one better, friends. Friends are at the table. But even closer than that is family. Family are sitting close to the Head, the Father and the Son. Jesus went and made room at the table for his enemies, he reserved for them the places set apart for his family. Because of him we can sit there.
(22) Our attributes change. We were dead, broken sick, enslaved, guilty and shameful. Now we are holy, clean, free, guiltless and shameless. We are all together new. Not just new in terms of better, because of Jesus we are now something we could have never become on our own. Holiness is other. Holiness demands you to color a red picture when all you have is a blue crayon. It cannot be done, it has to be a gift.
(23) We have hope. There is no better story. There is no happier ending than the one we are promised. There is no prize more valuable we could win. There is nothing more satisfying we could wait for. We have it all because of Christ. This Gospel hope drives us. It cements us to the truth and holds us to a standard of living which makes that truth known. The hope makes the hard times worth it, the trials and temptations we face – no matter how difficult they can be – must bow to that hope. (1 Peter 1:6; 3-4)
Jump over to Colossians 2, there are a few more things Paul lists out about why we should treasure Christ.
(13) We were dead and reckless. Christ has made us alive and awake. Does a dead man know what he is doing or what is being done to him? No. Can a dead man change anything? No. Does a dead person have treasure? No – everything they have goes to the living. When Christ made us alive he made us aware of sin and able to walk away from it by the Holy Spirit. Further, we are now able to treasure and live and rejoice and be what he meant for us to be, namely his people.
(13) He forgave us all our sins. We are forgiven. Our debt has been canceled, our slate wiped clean. As you understanding of the Scriptures improves, and as you mature in your walk one of the most blatant and brutal truths you will see is the reality of who and what you are apart from Christ. The dark, filthy, selfish creature that wants nothing to do with God. (Rom 5:20) God wants you to know how horrible sin is because that will help you see how amazing his grace is. Even a small light seems brighter once its put in a dark room.
(14) He canceled the to do list. He cut out the steps we needed in order to counted worthy. Some of you are applying to college or for jobs. There are usually prerequisites you need in order to be accepted. Maybe it’s an age limit for a job. For college its so many years of science, math, English, etc. Jesus took the prerequisites you needed in order to sit at his table and he nailed them to the cross. Fee waived – the Cross has satisfied the due and instead of seeing your short-comings God sees the cross.
(15) having disarmed, made a spectacle and triumphed. Christ has fought every enemy, he has endured every struggle, he has overcome every disability we could face in this life – and he not only won, he embarrassed it. (Heb 4:15 ; John 16:33) We have peace because Christ is victorious.
In Christ we have everything. All the hope, all the security, all the self-worth we could ever want or need. He’s given us a desire for these things: a desire to feel safe, to feel valued, to feel alive – because he wants to satisfy them. He wants to be your treasure.
Part 3 – Identifying your treasure
Before we can treasure Christ we have to discover what we treasure. Here are a few questions which can help.
- What is the first thing you think about in the morning? What is the last thing you think about before going to bed? What does your mind naturally drift towards? What you think about, good or bad, reveals what you treasure. (What your mind treasures)
- What do you work hardest for? Sports, grades, relationships? What in your life do you put the most effort towards? Your dedication reveals what you treasure. (What your will treasures)
- These next two go hand in hand. What do you find the most joy in? What do you worry the most about? When this thing goes right you feel on top of the world. But when it doesn’t, or your waiting for it you tend to worry to the point of exhaustion. This investment of yourself reveals your treasure. (What your heart treasures)
- What one thing or goal in your life, if you did not have it, or if you never achieved it, would leave you feeling incomplete? What is the driving force of your existence? This direction is your treasure. (What your soul treasures)
The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love. – Henry Scougal
Your life is and will only be as valuable as that which you value. And most people get, at least to some degree, what they treasure. If you value money above all else, chances are you will become very rich, but your impact will ultimately be short-lived because money does not last. If you value relationships above all else, you will probably find a great boyfriend or girlfriend and find your life consumed with that other person, but you will also face great disappointment, because they are human – they will fail, they will leave or they will die. These are good things, but they must be properly prioritized – Christ must be at the top.
Christ wants to be your treasure because he knows he is the best option. He will not leave, he cannot fail, his impact is eternal. And if you treasure him you will see your value change. When Jesus is your treasure, your income, your skill, your intelligence – they don’t define you. Jesus does. And he said you are worth dying for.
How do we treasure Jesus
– Pray, no person values Jesus on their own. It is a gift to treasure what is truly valuable.
– Work hard to live in such a way that shows Jesus is more valuable to you than what is on this earth. You do this when you choose purity over pleasure, wisdom over quick fixes, and eternal worth over immediate approval.
– Read the Scriptures, they will remind you every day what he did for you; and who he promises to be for you today and tomorrow and forever.