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.
As far back as history goes, one did not join another people group and share its treasures or heritage/culture like a hobby club or a vocation; one was usually conquered and if he was allowed to live, he would follow or serve the victorious people group, but for sure he typically would not be deemed equal to them.
So, it was quite revolutionary for Paul, a top-notch Jew, to be promoting that the Jews were more like the “Phase I” (as opposed to the entirety) of God’s people, and unveiling a “mystery” that God had a grander vision of saving all humankind. After encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul spent many years reflecting over his Jewish heritage and teachings about God, Jesus’ teachings and claims about being God. Paul concluded that (as expressed in this letter to the Ephesians) that God wants everyone, Jew or non-Jew (Gentile), and every person is precious to Him. Paul would spend the rest of his life letting people know that through Jesus, everyone can become part of God’s people group, everyone who calls God “Father” is God’s child, and everyone who is God’s child inherits all the promises God has made.
Therefore, our overriding identity as citizenship in God’s kingdom has implications on how we live in this world. We are part of one body serving God’s purpose of representing Him in this world, to love each other and uplift one another, to love those around us and welcome more into God’s family group. We do not look like each other, nor do we have the same role/function, but we work together to keep pointing everyone, saved and unsaved, towards God so that all may experience God keeping his promise to us and transforming us to be more like Him.
Thoughts for the day
- Thank God for having a grander vision to include you in his kingdom, so that you had the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Since your key identity marker is now Jesus Christ, and bearing in mind family resemblance in the context of different DNA has more to do with similarities in behavior, values and lifestyle, what sort of “family resemblance” do you bear in relation to Him?
- The key to developing family resemblance is spending time with the family, one just “absorbs” it. How much time are you spending with the family of God – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the other children – just to “soak it in”?
Dear Lord and heavenly Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. Help me to prioritize and enjoy time with you and the rest of the family. I want to be part of your grander vision, to point more people to want to get to know you and experience your goodness. Use me! Amen.