For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea…
Wisdom does not consist in wide and varied knowledge. A student may be a walking encyclopaedia, and yet be far from being a wise man. Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge, the attainment of the highest moral results by the best means. The cry of the human intellect in all ages is for wisdom. The greatest souls have toiled for it and failed. It is a Divine revelation. The world by wisdom knew not God. The wisdom which all need is found only in Christ. Observe —
I. THAT CHRIST IS THE INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF THE TRUEST WISDOM. The false teachers at Colossae, like certain pretentious philosophers of modern times, boasted of the wast range of their wisdom and knowledge. They discussed questions which are reproduced to-day — the wisdom of this world which comes to naught. But it is only in Christ that we find all the treasures which furnish and enrich the mind and guide in the way of salvation. If we classify the principal sources of human knowledge, only in Christ does each department find its fullest explication and derive its worth.
1. He is the loftiest ideal and purest inspiration of the poet. Poetry occupies an important place in human culture. It has been abused, but the true poet pants after the noblest expression of the beautiful and the good. Of this, Christ is the embodiment, and the poet exhausts all his resources in portraying the lineaments of His character.
2. He is the grandest hero of the historian. History would be an unsolvable enigma could the name of Christ be struck out. The story of redemption unites Christ with the destiny of man in all ages.
3. He is prominent among the sublimest themes of the philosopher. A philosophy that does not recognize the Divine plunges its votaries in labyrinthine darkness. Its legitimate office is to conduct to God.
II. THAT THE TREASURES OF DIVINE WISDOM ARE DISCOVERABLE BY THE SINCERE AND EARNEST SEEKER. They are hid, but not so as to be beyond our reach. They are intended for discovery and appropriation. Their brilliancy sparkles even in their hiding-place. They are like a mine whose riches, though faintly indicated on the surface, are concealed in the depths. The more diligently the mine is worked the more precious and abundant the ore appears. Lessons —
1. Man universally covets wisdom.
2. The highest wisdom is treasured up in Christ for man.
3. If man finds it not, it is his own fault.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;