X Marks the Spot

By Mark D. Roberts

May 20, 2024

The Gift of Wisdom

Scripture — Colossians 2:1-3 (NRSV)

For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


If you want to discover the treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge, focus on Jesus Christ. His life, teachings, death, and resurrection reveal God’s wisdom to us. When we put our trust in Christ, he lives in us and we live in him. Thus we can know him truly and deeply, which gives us access to God’s wisdom and knowledge.

Today’s devotion is part of the series The Gift of Wisdom.


I love treasure hunts. I have since I was a young boy. Later, as a father with my young children, I enjoyed making treasure hunts for them. They’d have to follow a string of clues that led to the treasure with its special treats. Occasionally my treasure hunts would include a map, and the map would have an X marked on it, indicating the location of the hidden treasure. “X marks the spot,” right?

If I were writing a free-flowing paraphrase of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, I might be inclined to use the phrase “X marks the spot.” In the second chapter of this letter, Paul mentions his concern for new Christians whom he has not met before. He writes, “I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:2-3). Notice that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are found in Christ.

So what does this have to do with “X marks the spot”? Well, the early Christians used the shape of an X (the letter chi in Greek, the first letter in the Greek word christos, meaning Christ) as a symbol for Christ himself. It’s thought by some that they used this X when they wanted to be secretive. So, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that when it comes to the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, X would mark the spot. Christ marks the spot. If you locate Christ, you’ve found the treasures.

Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch. I admit it. But the point Paul makes in Colossians 2:3 still stands. And it’s relevant to our series of devotions on wisdom. The point is simple. If you’re looking for the treasure of wisdom, you need to look for Jesus Christ. Find Christ, you’ll find wisdom. Yes, indeed. Christ marks the spot.

When it comes to finding Christ, we might think first of reading the biblical gospels. Indeed, they help us know Jesus Christ intimately and truthfully. But the Apostle Paul was writing to the Colossians at a time when the gospels were not well known. In fact, they probably weren’t written yet. Thus, for Paul, finding Christ would have been more a matter of knowing Christ through faith, through the indwelling presence of the Spirit, and through the experience of the Christian community.

Paul understood that the Christians in Colossians were “in Christ” (1:2, 28). He could also talk about Christ being “in” these believers (1:27). Paul’s use of the word “in” points to the profoundly relational nature of Christian experience. It’s not just believing the right things about Christ, but living in a deep relationship with Christ who is in us even as we are in him.

Growing in your relationship with Christ will enable you to uncover “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” This sort of growth happens in a variety of ways, through worship and prayer, through silence and community, through study and obedience, and so forth. The devotions of Life for Leaders are meant to help you go deeper in your relationship with Christ so that, among other things, you might discover “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The more you know Christ, the more you will receive his wisdom. X marks the spot. Right?!


When you read the phrase, “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” what comes to mind? What are these treasures? To what extent have you found some of them?

What helps you to know Christ more truly and intimately?


Set aside time to reflect on the fact that you are in Christ and that Christ is in you. Talk with the Lord about this, what you’re thinking and feeling. Ask for the gift of even greater awareness of how Christ is present in your life.


Gracious God, I begin today by praising you for your wisdom and knowledge, and for placing all of this in Christ. How amazing! How wonderful!

Help me, I pray, to know Christ better. Yes, may I know the truth about him, about his life and teaching, his death and resurrection. But may I know Christ personally and intimately, paying attention to his presence in me and realizing that I live in him.

As I make my home in Christ, may I discover “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” May these treasures not only inform my mind, but also transform my heart and form my life. May I live in the wisdom of Christ each day. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: “I’m Doing Alright by Myself” (Colossians 2:1–23).

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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