The rich wisdom of God will be made known (Eph. 3:10)

“Through the church,

The wisdom of God

In its rich variety

Might now be made known

To the rulers

And authorities

In the heavenly places.”

ἵνα γνωρισθῇ νῦν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἐξουσίαις ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις διὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἡ πολυποίκιλος σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ,

Paul said, “Through the church (διὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας), the wisdom of God (σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ) in its rich variety (ἡ πολυποίκιλος) might now be made known (ἵνα γνωρισθῇ νῦν) to the rulers (ταῖς ἀρχαῖς) and authorities (καὶ ταῖς ἐξουσίαις) in the heavenly places (ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις).”  Only this Ephesian letter used this unique word πολυποίκιλος, that means differing colors, much varied, or manifold.  Paul explained the rich various elements of the wisdom of God is now known by the heavenly rulers and authorities.  The knowledge of God’s varied wise plan for all here on earth comes through the church or the community of believers in Jesus Christ.  Do you want to know God’s plan for you?

I was to reveal the hidden mystery (Eph. 3:9)

“I was

To make

Everyone see

What is the plan

Of the hidden mystery

For ages

In God,

Who created all things.”

καὶ φωτίσαι τίς ἡ οἰκονομία τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ ἀποκεκρυμμένου ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων ἐν τῷ Θεῷ τῷ τὰ πάντα κτίσαντι,

Paul said, “I was to make everyone see (καὶ φωτίσαι) what is the plan (τίς ἡ οἰκονομία) of the hidden mystery (τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ ἀποκεκρυμμένου) for ages (ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων) in God (ἐν τῷ Θεῷ), who created all things (τῷ τὰ πάντα κτίσαντι).”  Paul explained that his role was to enlighten or help others see the hidden mysterious plan of God that had been concealed for centuries.  God created all things, including this hidden mysterious plan in eternity.  Paul was going to reveal to others this plan of God for them.  Have you ever tried to understand God’s hidden mysteries?

I am the very least of the saints (Eph. 3:8)

“Although I am the very least

Of all the saints,

This grace

Was given to me,

To preach the good news

Of the boundless riches

Of Christ

To the gentiles.”

ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ πάντων ἁγίων ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις αὕτη, τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαι τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,

Paul said, “Although I am the very least (ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ) of all the saints (πάντων ἁγίων), this grace (ἡ χάρις αὕτη) was given (ἐδόθη) to me, to preach the good news (εὐαγγελίσασθαι) of the boundless (ἀνεξιχνίαστον) riches (πλοῦτος) of Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ) to the gentiles (τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).”  Only this letter to the Ephesians has this unique word ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ, that means less than the least, the smallest, or least important.  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀνεξιχνίαστον, that means cannot be traced out, explored, or incomprehensible.  Paul explained that he was unworthy of the great task that had been given to him.  He was the very least of all the holy followers of Jesus Christ.  However, God had given him a special gift or grace.  He was the one to preach the good news about the unlimited richness of Jesus Christ to the gentile non-Jewish people.  He had been transformed from a sinner to a servant of the gospel.  Now he wanted others to do the same.  Would you like to be a servant of the gospel?

Paul was a servant of the gospel (Eph. 3:7)

“Of this gospel,

I was made a servant

According to the gift

Of God’s grace

That was given me

By the working

Of his power.”

οὗ ἐγενήθην διάκονος κατὰ τὴν δωρεὰν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ.

Paul said, “Of this gospel (οὗ), I was made a servant (ἐγενήθην διάκονος) according to the gift of God’s grace (τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ) that was given me (τῆς δοθείσης μοι) by the working (κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν) of his power (τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐνέργειαν, that means working, action, productive work, or activity.  Paul explained that he had become a servant of the gospel.  The powerful working gift of God’s grace had been given to him.  Paul was then subservient to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God’s powerful grace helped him to do this work of preaching the gospel to the gentiles.  Have you received God’s grace?

The gentiles are fellow heirs (Eph. 3:6)

“The gentiles

Have become

Fellow heirs,

Members of the same body,

And sharers

In the promise

Of Christ Jesus

Through the gospel.”

εἶναι τὰ ἔθνη συνκληρονόμα καὶ σύνσωμα καὶ συνμέτοχα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,

Paul said, “The gentiles have become (εἶναι τὰ ἔθνη) fellow heirs (συνκληρονόμα), members of the same body (καὶ σύνσωμα), and sharers (καὶ συνμέτοχα) in the promise (τῆς ἐπαγγελίας) of Christ Jesus (ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ) through the gospel (διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word συνκληρονόμα, that means a co-inheritor, a joint heir, or a participant.  Only this Ephesian letter uniquely used this word σύνσωμα, that means belonging to the same body or the same Church, and the word συνμέτοχα, that means partaking with or a joint partaker.  Paul explained that things had changed.  The gentiles, or the non-Jewish people, were now the fellow heirs with the Israelites.  They would share the same body or community church with the Jewish people.  The belonged together because they both had the promise of Jesus Christ through the Christian gospel.  Do you accept the promise of Jesus Christ through his gospel?

This mystery was not made known formerly (Eph. 3:5)

“In former generations,

This mystery

Was not made known

To humans.

Now it has been revealed

To his holy apostles

And prophets

By the Spirit.”

ὃ ἑτέραις γενεαῖς οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὡς νῦν ἀπεκαλύφθη τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις ἐν Πνεύματι,

Paul said, “In former generations (ὃ ἑτέραις γενεαῖς), this mystery was not made known (οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη) to us human sons of men (τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  Now it has been revealed (ὡς νῦν ἀπεκαλύφθη) to his holy apostles (τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ) and prophets (καὶ προφήταις) by the Holy Spirit (ἐν Πνεύματι).”  Paul explained that former human generations did not know about this mystery of Jesus Christ.  Now, however, this mystery has been revealed to Christ’s holy apostles and the prophets in the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has enlightened these apostles and prophets.  Prior to the coming to Jesus Christ, they did not know about this mystery of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Now they knew better.  What do you know about Jesus Christ?

The mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4)

“When you are able

To read this,

You can perceive

My insight

Into the mystery

Of Christ.”

πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε ἀναγινώσκοντες νοῆσαι τὴν σύνεσίν μου ἐν τῷ μυστηρίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ,

Paul said, “When you able to read this (πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε ἀναγινώσκοντες), you can perceive or understand (νοῆσαι) my insight (τὴν σύνεσίν μου) into the mystery (ἐν τῷ μυστηρίῳ) of Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ).”  Paul explained that if they were able to read this letter, they would understand his insights into the mystery of Jesus Christ.  If they read this letter, they would begin to understand what Paul was talking about, his perception of the mystery of Christ.  This letter would give them a better understanding about Jesus Christ, much like what Paul himself had.  Do you try to understand the mystery of Jesus Christ better?

The mystery was made known to me (Eph. 3:3)

“This mystery

Of Jesus Christ

Was made known

To me

By revelation,

As I have written briefly before.”

ὅτι κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν ἐγνωρίσθη μοι τὸ μυστήριον, καθὼς προέγραψα ἐν ὀλίγῳ,

Paul said, “This mystery (τὸ μυστήριον) of Jesus Christ was made known to me (ἐγνωρίσθη μοι) by revelation (ὅτι κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν), as I have written briefly before (καθὼς προέγραψα ἐν ὀλίγῳ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word προέγραψα, that means write previously or above, or designate beforehand.  Paul had explained earlier in this letter in chapters 1 and 2 that he had a revelation from God.  God made the mystery of Jesus Christ known to Paul in this divine revelation.  Thus, Paul had a divine commission revealed to him about the mystery of Jesus Christ that he was to preach to the gentiles.  Do you know anyone who received a divine revelation?

Paul’s commission (Eph. 3:2)

“Surely,

You have heard

Of the commission

Of God’s grace

That was given me

For you.”

εἴ γε ἠκούσατε τὴν οἰκονομίαν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς,

Paul said, “Surely, you have heard (εἴ γε ἠκούσατε) of the commission (τὴν οἰκονομίαν) of God’s grace (τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ) that was given me (τῆς δοθείσης μοι) for you (εἰς ὑμᾶς).”  Paul explained that they must have heard how Paul was given God’s grace to be a missionary to the gentiles for Jesus Christ.  He was like a servant for Jesus Christ.  He was to manage the affairs of this growing gentile Christian church community.  This was his calling to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles.  Do you have any special commission from God?

Paul is a prisoner for Christ (Eph. 3:1)

“This is the reason

That I,

Paul,

Am a prisoner

For Christ Jesus

For the sake

Of you gentiles.”

Τούτου χάριν ἐγὼ Παῦλος ὁ δέσμιος τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν τῶν ἐθνῶν

Paul said, “This is the reason (Τούτου χάριν) that I (ἐγὼ), Paul (Παῦλος), am a prisoner (ὁ δέσμιος) for Christ Jesus (τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ), for the sake of you gentiles (ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν τῶν ἐθνῶν).”  Paul considered himself a prisoner for Christ.  He had been arrested in Jerusalem in Acts, chapter 21 and imprisoned in the following chapters.  He had been willing to be imprisoned by the Jewish and Roman officials for his pronouncements about Jesus Christ.  He had defended his work with the gentiles in front of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.  They turned him over to the Roman officials. When he finally claimed that he was a Roman citizen, he had to be tried in Rome.  In the meantime, he spent a lot of time in Roman custody as a prisoner.  Have you ever been a prisoner?