For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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.
assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 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.
I Paul, a prisoner—one under arrest, yes Paul is in prison, and he will get to that, but in other places he refers to himself as a slave or a bondservant, one who loves his master so much, that even though he could go free, has decided to stay in servitude willingly, because of the love for the master, because of his goodness.
He says his he is a prisoner of Jesus, and for the Gentiles. His life purpose as stated in chapter 1 is to be an apostle, one sent by God, on a mission, with a message. Paul is sent to by Jesus to minister to the Gentiles so they can know Him.
stewardship—the management of property by a servant on behalf of its owner. So Paul viewed his life as a service to Jesus, and also a service to the Gentiles because he was entrusted with such a valuable message from Jesus, about Jesus.
Paul is in prison because of his stand that Jew and Gentile were equal in the people of God now, that’s in . So Paul can say he is a prisoner of Christ Jesus, that he’s in prison because it is the will of Jesus for him to be there. That’s crazy right?
His message, was the mystery that was made known to him by Jesus Himself, not passed down by men to him like those who are now receiving and believing, but by Jesus Himself. And this mystery again is that Jew and Gentile are equal in the eyes of God and are also co-heirs, and now also partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus because of their belief in who Jesus was and what He did on their behalf.
Let’s get back to this prison of Jesus idea. Does this make sense to us? If we were unjustly thrown in prison how would we feel? Would we question God?
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.
Paul says here that this ministry that God gave him, the one that has led him to prison, is according to the gift of God’s grace given him by the working of Gods power. How does he have such a free and not bitter perspective? It’s because most of us, myself included think mostly about ourselves, what’s best for us according to us. We have plans and dreams and expect God to come alongside these dreams and plans. We fail to realize that God’s plans for us are bigger and better than we could ever imagine. His plans for us are to have an impact for eternity.
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, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Listen to what he’s saying. He refers to himself as the very least of all the saints, here saints is all believers, he, Paul, is the least and yet today we would regard him as one of, if not the greatest of all the saints. He started churches all over the place, took the gospel to the Gentiles, and wrote 3/4 of the new testament for crying out loud.
Ah, but we can’t forget that Paul was once Saul the murderer of Christians, the man who was trying to extinguish this movement of Jesus. We can’t forget it and Paul definitely could never forget it. How can God forgive him for killing His followers, for trying to kill His movement? But He did forgive him, grace, amazing grace. Now with this grace comes gratitude, indebtedness, remember the bondservant, responsibility, but also perspective.
Paul knows his life is not his own, God should of crushed him for trying to stop His movement, but He didn’t and now Paul will live his life speaking about this grace, this saving grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And if God is that good, and if Paul really deserved death, then this prison sentence is nothing, actually it is something, part of God’s good plan.
Look at verse 9, it goes beyond the Gentiles then, his ministry extends to everyone, remember he wrote 3/4 of the new testament, he wrote Ephesians, the letter we are studying. We have this letter because Paul was in prison and had time to write it. His life is affecting people two thousand years later, talk about a legacy.
You know who else his ministry was for? His ministry to the Gentiles, God’s plan to include the Gentiles, was also for the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. What the heck does that mean?