““When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ…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.” Ephesians 3:4, 6
I love this focus on the inclusion of the Gentiles in the mystery of Christ. That beautiful mystery of who Jesus is and why He came. It takes us back to Ephesians 1:9-10, where Paul writes of God “making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him.”
Jews and Gentiles had been at odds from the very beginning. The chosen people of God, those under His law and included in His promise, and the outsiders. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:13-14). Jesus changes everything. The sacrifice He made on our behalf was done to reconcile us to the Father and to unite us together in love. Because we are filled with the love of God. That love which covers a multitude of sins. We experience grace that knows no limits. And so we live out the grace we have been shown.
Jesus breaks down the walls of pride, hostility, and prejudice. The Spirit of God enters our lives and we begin living not for ourselves, but for those around us. We lay down our lives—our desires, our conveniences, our selfish benefit—for the good of others. Jesus comes to set us free from ourselves and His transforming power is able to unite us in Him.
“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God’” (Romans 9:25-26). No matter who we are, no matter what choices we have made in the past, no matter what other people have said about us or what they have done, we have hope. We are not too far off. God’s arm is long enough to reach us and Jesus is strong enough to save. This is the mystery of the gospel, the truth of Christ. God brings us near, uniting us to Himself and to each other in love through the power of the cross.