For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. – Ephesians 3:1-13
We used to watch BBC mystery programs on Sunday night. Whether it was Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, or Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, there were several common characteristics. The plots were tight and complex. The bad guys clearly evil, but no match for the prowess of the detectives, and before the program was ended I was asleep! I claimed to have enjoyed these, but there may be a valid argument due to the fact that I seldom saw the entire episode! When the mystery was solved, in fact, I was often unable to put the pieces together – even after it was revealed.
There is a deeper and more profound mystery in the person of Jesu Christ. Paul – a great mind, thoughtful scholar, and religious expert – says that the mystery of Christ is that we Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
This is a greater mystery than any of our favorite fictional detectives could ever solve. Here is a quote that begins to get at that. Commenting on an idea of appointing an ambassador to Christians, Rosenberg wrote:
“That makes Jesus,” wrote Rosenberg, “known in Hebrew as Yeshua – the world’s most famous and beloved Israeli, and the New Testament the best-selling Israeli book in the history of mankind.”
That’s a mystery and a sublime joy to this fact. Joe doesn’t think of Jesus as a Jew. Thomas thinks Jesus was a Jew, but is no longer. Mary knows Jesus was a Jew and that he is the fulfillment of all that the Jewish people were to have been. Many more people are like Thomas and Joe. Few think of Jesus as Jewish and fewer still consider us who are not Jewish to be Gentiles.
So this is the standing mystery: Christ is our key to the eternal blessings of God. He is that for all people. Let’s not fall asleep while we consider that mystery!