God’s kaleidoscope

kaleidoscopic-people.jpg

 

What we are all about? – Us people who follow Jesus and take our stand with His birth, death and resurrection. What’s our life all about?

In Ephesians 3:8-10, Paul takes an amazing stab at a comprehensive answer:

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power.  Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ,  and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

There’s a sort of funnel-shape here. Did you notice? It starts with the highly personal (“I am the very least” );  which somehow when we personalise it sounds like we’re begging people to disagree with us and then slightly miffed when they don’t.

And then the perspective widens: “This grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ and to make everyone see…”  Paul leads us into his global vision. This is for everyone!

But he doesn’t stop there: “So that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”  Paul gives us a totally cosmic and spiritual perspective. This –this!-  is what it’s all about. It starts where you are, and ultimately encompasses the whole meaning of the universe.

This Greek word for “manifold” (poikilos: “wrought in various colors,”) has the added prefix “many” (polupoikilos), which presumably means something like  “Kaleidoscopic intricacies”!

God’s wisdom is a universe-sized painting!

So this is God’s goal. An intricately careful gathering is the goal of all of history. This universe is finally about the many-colored wisdom of God.

And the demons (Ephesians 6:12)—the evil principalities and powers—must look at this painting and watch the wisdom by which they were defeated in the very moment they thought they had triumphed—in the death and resurrection of Christ.

A global vision

See v10: it is through the church that the great divine Painter is displaying his manifold wisdom to the armies of heaven and hell.

But now notice that the church is being gathered from all the nations. Verse 8-9, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles [the non-Jewish nations] the unsearchable riches of Christ

And to bring light for everyone [there it is again: we are to spread the gospel to “everyone”] what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” The “mystery hidden for ages” is exactly this universal scope of the gospel to all sorts & not just Jews in the covenant people of God!

An equipped saint

The brushes he uses are messy, ordinary people who have seen the unsearchable riches of Christ and are willing, and often eager, to take these riches to the nations. The brushes are broken, sinning, ordinary missionaries— of whom the world is not worthy (Hebrews 11:38).

Verse 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.”

What are we all about? Cosmic, global, personal equipping!

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