Monday, January 24, 2011

Ephesians 3:1-6

1This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God's grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Questions to consider:
  • Who are the Gentiles to whom the author refers?
  • What is the "commission of God's grace that was given to [the author]"?
  • What is the mystery of Christ? Why was it not previously revealed?
  • What metaphors does the author use to help us understand the relationship that the Gentiles now have to Christ and the others who follow him?
Possibilities for prayer:

What do you think about when you think of the word "heir"? There are a couple of different ways to think about the word--someone who gets property or possessions left to them because of a will, or someone who is in line to take over a position or office. It's kind of interesting because it seems like both understandings of the word are relevant in this passage. We, who count among the Gentiles, are now counted as heirs to Christ: his treasure is our treasure, and, in many ways, his "office" is our office.

Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy Spirit came, they would be able to do even greater works than he did, and that promise is extended to us. Of course, with that comes some responsibility, just as it does for an earthly heir. Are we, as Christ's heirs, filling well the office he left us? Today, let's take some time to ask God to show us ways we can step more fully into being heirs to Christ--in word and deed--and take steps to see those things happen.