Read: Ephesians 3: 1-13.
This week, I’m going to ask you to read first from your regular translation. Then, head to the Bible app and it read to you from the Message version.
Reflect: Paul used the word “mystery” several times in these verses. The Greek word “musterion” refers to something that one must be initiated or instructed on before it can be known. It relates to something that isn’t obvious in human insight. Specifically, musterion refers to the gospel having been long hidden and then later revealed through Christ. In other words, the truths we need to know of Jesus and the Gospel must be revealed to us. Without Christ’s instruction, we would never understand the mystery.
Several things appear to me to be mysterious in these verses:
Gentiles are fellow heirs with Christ. Throughout the history we read about in the Bible (your timeline on Monday), Israel and the Jews were God’s chosen people. They were the ones that were considered to be God’s, and they accomplished that by following many, many rules and laws. However, through Jesus, God invited the Gentiles to join in the gospel’s gift. Thank you, Jesus!
We, the church, are the means by which His plan for mankind will be carried out. God revealed the mystery of the gospel to His Church so that we can share it with the world. In order to do this well, we have to constantly seek Him so that He can make His will known. The mysteries will be revealed through His Spirit’s guidance in our lives.
In Colossians, Paul says it this way, The mystery we speak of is this, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
The Gospel of Jesus helps to make sense of suffering. It doesn’t make sense that anything good could come from suffering. But, all throughout scripture, we see it happening. In our own lives, we can see the beauty of Christ in the middle of really hard times. Paul, from prison, wanted to make sure the Ephesians understand this truth.
Respond: How do you feel about mystery? How do you respond when you can’t connect all the dots? I don’t like it very much. The passage we’ve read in Ephesians, though, has made me rethink my position. What God did for me in Jesus Christ is amazing, unfathomable, and mysterious. I’ll only ever be able to understand what He chooses to reveal to me.
Could it be that we need to pause today and repent of our need to understand all things fully? Could it be that we are missing out on relationship with a God who loves us, because we aren’t willing to just seek to know Jesus, His Son, better each and every day? Is it possible that God has more to reveal to us; so, in this uncertain moment, we simply need to be still and trust that He is God?
Renew: The Gospel is a mystery! Much of it was uncovered in the life of Jesus. He IS the revelation. But, in His wisdom, the Lord chooses to reveal details of His story and gospel as we grow in grace with Him. And, here’s the thing…. The biggest mystery of all is that we get to grow in grace with Jesus!
How can you rest in the mystery of the Gospel today? Write out a prayer of surrender in your journal. We don’t have to know all of the answers when we know the Person who does.
“...this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.” Ephesians 3:8