Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are the only one in the room that “gets it?” You know that you are right, but everyone else seems to be blind to the answer. You try and try and try to explain it to them, but they just cannot connect the dots. It is extremely frustrating.
I believe that behind the comments of Paul in Colossians 2:1-3 is this feeling. Paul acknowledges that there is a mystery of God; that there is something hidden or secret to what God is doing in His creation. For many people, this mystery remains a mystery. For Paul, however, he gets it; he sees what is behind the veil, and he desperately wants others to benefit from the revelation.
It is like looking at one of those 3D Stereogram pictures (the ones that sit on coffee tables in dentist’s offices that you are supposed to stare at and magically see a boat). For whatever reason, some people see the 3D image immediately and some people stare for minutes and see nothing. For Paul, when he stares into the picture of life, he doesn’t see randomness; he sees the image of Christ pop out. Once Paul sees this, the picture of life finally makes sense. No longer does life appear meaningless, it has substance; it has purpose. For Paul and for others who see the beautiful picture of Jesus, it is a struggle, or battle, for others to see what they see.
What makes it even more frustrating for those with eyes who see, is that seeing the reality of the preeminence of Christ in creation comes with immense rewards, and it is hard to watch people miss out on this reward. Paul calls the reward the “riches of full assurance of understanding.” So not only are people missing the entire point of creation, they are missing the blessings that flow from seeing that Christ is the reason we exist.
Earlier in Colossians 1:15 Paul says this about Jesus, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him” (emphasis added). This means that you and I were created for Jesus. This means that we breathe for Jesus. This means that we eat and drink for Jesus. This means we get married for Jesus. This means that we have families for Jesus. This means that we work and play for Jesus. Everything is for him.
The bottom line is that the substance, the purpose of life is the glorification of Jesus Christ. We are made to worship Him. Until you have eyes to see this truth, you will be a slave to the meaningless, unsatisfying worship of futility.