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
Perhaps you’ve been part of a progressive reveal party. It started for one woman when her husband told her on morning, “Pack your bags for a five night stay. Bring clothes for warm weather, including your swimsuit.” The day started with a trip to the airport. Somehow he managed to keep her from learning their destination for a period of time. When they landed they were in Hawaii. It was an early celebration of her birthday!
When she woke up that morning she had no idea of what would come her way. We’re in much the same situation. We have no idea what God is planning for us day by day. One day unfolds like the other. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? We have some idea of God’s good will. He has made promises about the day of redemption.
We know we’re heaven bound because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We know it will be gloriously wonderful. Streets paved with gold. A heavenly feast of grand celebration. But we are also told, “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears” (1 John 3:2). There is yet a mystery to be revealed.
Throughout the ages of the Old Testament the people of God anticipated the coming of the Messiah. They knew something of his coming, but had no idea of what he would actually look like. In fact, they were hard-heartedly wrong in their expectations and rejected the true Son of God.
Imagine life in Egypt the day prior to the Exodus. Could they have known what God had in store for them? First elated, then worry about the pressing Egyptian army and the Red Sea. Fearing all was lost only to see the sea parted and a way made for their escape. And so it goes. One day after another. One time after another. God reveals a bit more of his plan. Another page is turned. Another mystery unfolds.
Then comes the message of Jesus to the Gentiles. They had no idea until God revealed it to them through Paul. Then comes their joy at the Good News of their salvation and their place at the table with the Jewish believers.
What will tomorrow bring for us? Trouble? Perhaps. Challenge? No doubt. But there will be a day when a new unfolding of God’s grace will make its presence known. We will marvel in delight on that Great Day.