For Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Friday night small group – April 27, 2012
When my son was little, he loved to do magic tricks. I usually had no problem figuring them out, especially when he made a coin disappear by dropping it on the concrete floor. As he grew older, though, his tricks began to get a little more perplexing.
He came to me during his teenage years with a card trick I could not figure out for the life of me. He would play it on me again and again, and I would watch his every move, but I couldn’t figure out the trick.
Finally, after I made several wrong guesses, my son revealed the secret of the trick to me. After he showed me, the trick seemed so simple. What once was mysterious, suddenly became completely obvious.
This is the way God reveals the Gospel to us.
Have you ever read a Scripture what seems like 1,000 times and it never makes any sense? Then one day you read it and it leaps off the page at you, completely understandable and exactly what you need to hear!
This is one way God speaks to us. It is one way He reveals His mystery to us.
God talks about the most fantastic mystery He shares with all of us in Ephesians 3:6: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
What God is telling us through Paul in this verse is that He loves us all. When Jesus died on the cross, people were no longer counted as “Jews” or as “Gentiles.” Instead, we all became the same – God’s people, each and every one of us equals.
God lets everyone share in this mystery, no matter who they are or how they have lived. He accepts us all.
Paul was a murderer, a persecutor of Jesus’ followers, and God accepted Paul – no questions asked.
In Ephesians 3:8, Paul calls himself “less than the least of all God’s people (NIV).”
He was the low of the low, the worst of the worst – and God accepted him! God INVITED him to learn of the great mystery and to share it with others.
Paul says in the same verse that he was given the grace “to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery.”
To me, unsearchable means something for which you do not need to search. We do not have to search for the mystery because God gives it to us through His grace.
Paul goes on to say that the mystery – for ages past – was kept hidden in God and that God did this on purpose – so He could reveal it later through His son, Jesus Christ.
This is a great love God has for us! And He had it planned from the very beginning.
I used to think God was this impossible “thing” to understand – just as I thought my son’s card trick was impossible to figure out. Once my son revealed the mystery of the card trick to me, however, I understood, and I was able to share it with others.
Likewise, once I began to seek God more and seek to understand Him more, He was open to reveal His mystery to me, and I am able to share it with you today.
That is just one of the joys God gives us through His great mystery, Jesus Christ.
Dear God, thank you for sharing your son Jesus with us. Help us to take what we know about your great mystery and share it with others this week. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.