Lord, help me to understand to a greater degree the magnitude of the “mystery” of Christ.
Read: EPHESIANS 3:1–13
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Reflect: THINK ABOUT THE COMMUNITY OF GOD’S PEOPLE YOU BELONG TO. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS ITS MAIN PURPOSE?
Paul begins to pray for the Christians he is writing to and then breaks off into a wonderful diversion. It is almost as if, as soon as he mentions “you Gentiles,” he is overwhelmed by God’s grace towards them.
Notice how many times Paul refers to “mysteries” that have been made known. Trace the source and content of these mysteries through the passage. One senses that Paul grows in knowledge and understanding of how God works out his purposes and unfolds his revelation throughout Scripture. Do you also show signs of growing and developing your appreciation of how God works in the world?
We see one of the letter’s key themes spelled out here: the role of the church. Paul has been weaving a glorious vision of the church throughout the letter so far (see 1:22,23; 2:19–22; 3:10). The church is now displaying to unseen powers the rich variety of God’s wisdom. The church is Christ’s body (1:23). The church is where God is pleased to make his home (2:20). The church is where peace with God and peace with one another is on display (2:21,22; 3:10).
At times churches are torn apart by division and strife. Pray for the witness of the church in your area.
Heavenly Father, I pray that Your church may share together in the task of bringing all people to Yourself.
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