Verse 1 of this chapter is key to the message Paul is conveying here. He is a prisoner for Jesus Christ, on behalf of the Gentiles. The “mystery” that he received revelation about was (as verse 6 says) “that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” This plan was not known to previous generations (verse 5), but now has been revealed to His apostles and prophets. He declares this as his ministry in verse 7 – “of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me…” And he makes it known in verses 10-11 that this was always God’s plan, according to His wisdom – “this was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord…”
The chapter ends with Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength in verses 14-21, that he began in the previous chapter. This is one of the most beautiful and poignant prayers in the Bible. Read it again and again, and take comfort in wisdom and truth of it, as well as the promise it brings to the hearts of Christians:
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.