For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for 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.
(Ephesians 3:1-3 ESV)
Paul had been granted insight into a “mystery” by God. That mystery was that Jews and Gentiles are now one before God. That which divided them – the Old Testament ceremonial laws – had been abolished with Christ’s death on the cross. While many Jews did not believe this – they still maintained that God was only accessible to the Jews or someone who became Jewish through circumcision – God revealed this truth to Paul.
In English the word “mystery” implies something obscure and puzzling. But the original Greek word, μυστεριον (pronounced: moos-tay’-ree-on), means something that was not previously known but which has been revealed. The mystery is not the thing unknown. It is the thing that was once unknown but is now known.
While Paul states that this mystery was made known to him, its important to realize that it was not made known only to him. God had revealed the same truth to Peter in a vision [Acts 11:1-18]. The prophet Isaiah even foretold that God planned to save Gentiles, although the exact details were not given to him [Isaiah 49:6].
This is important because from this we learn that God is willing to explain truth to us. While we can’t expect to understand everything – we are, afterall, the creation not the creator – we can expect Him to grant us wisdom [James 1:5].
God’s revelation comes to us through the Holy Spirit – who is God Himself living inside the body of a believer [1 Corinthians 2:10]. Truth does not come from human beings. It doesn’t come from government leaders, entertainers, or educators [Matthew 16:17]. It can only be made known to us by God Himself.
Since God reveals his truth to those who are His children – born again believers [John 1:12] – we can conclude that those who deny or otherwise do not know Jesus do not understand truth. They may be wise in worldly things like economics, or medicine. But they do not know spiritual truth. Oprah does not understand eternity. Neither does the Dalai Lama. Only the God of the Bible knows the truth and only He can explain it to us [Matthew 13:11].
It is certainly a privilege to receive wisdom from God. And the right response when we receive wisdom is to offer up praise to God, from whom all wisdom comes. This is what Jesus did [Matthew 11:25]. And its never a bad idea to do the things that Jesus did.
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