For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea…
When the apostle spoke of the wisdom hid in Christ, he meant by "wisdom" just what his adversaries meant, that is, the know ledge of man in those sublime relations that connect him with God and God's universal plan. Now this is a sort of knowledge to which everything may be expected to contribute some remote and faint light; but the point here to be observed is, that the revelation of Christ Jesus, alone and unaided, flashes a beam of splendour upon it in which all others are lost and disappear. Nor this only, but as all knowledge is mainly valuable as it helps our efforts for this last and mightiest knowledge of ourselves and God, so when this is attained, through virtue of the Christian truth, it, in its turn, radiates back upon all the departments of knowledge a new and blessed light. And thus the revelation of Christ not merely teaches us in itself a series of truths of inexpressible importance, and without it wholly unattainable, but it also, as a great central discovery, harmonizes all our beliefs, sacred and secular, binds them together as its own servants, gives them a new interest, and position, and colouring, and dignifies the pursuit of them as a labour in the very cause of God Himself, — begun and prosecuted with a view to His glory — for to know the beauty of the temple is to know the glory of the architect. And hence, so far are we who advocate the revelation of Christ as the basis of education, from (as our slanderers have it) restricting or dreading the free search of natural knowledge, that, on the contrary, when once the corner-stone has been fixed in our foundation, we exult in a science and a philosophy that is subservient to the faith of Christ; we hail every bright discovery as a new tribute to the creating and redeeming God whom we adore. Let but the Sun of Righteousness reign in the centre of the soul, and we know that every element of inferior knowledge will dispose itself to revolve harmoniously around it!
(W. Archer Butler, M. A.)
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;