Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 19th April 2024: Ephesians: 4

Ephesians 3 Jews Jesus Christ Children of God Christians

Reading : Verses from Ephesians, Chapter 3


I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that 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. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Our world seems aflame at present with tension, with the Ukraine and Russian war, with the Israel and Palestinian war, and with the increased problems between Iran and Israel. We may feel disassociated from them but since around 70% of Russians identify themselves as Christian, 85% in Ukraine, and 9% in Palestine (as Christians or as Arab Christians) we cannot just ignore what is happening in these countries. We should also note that the Israeli army also includes some Christians. All of these are our brothers and sisters in Christ!

When Paul was writing his epistle to the Ephesians he too faced, if not war, racial and religious problems. As a strict Jew, brought up as a Pharisee to obey every part of the Law of Moses, he was hated by many for abandoning his principles to follow Jesus. At the time of writing he was imprisoned in Rome, likely to have been chained to a Roman soldier although able to see his friends, but with his enemies gathering material to ensure his death. Remember Jews saw themselves as the chosen nation and all Gentiles as being outside God's plans. While Greeks traditionally saw Jews as being barbarians. Yet Paul's ministry has been to the Gentiles, to Greek cities like Corinth, Ephesus, Laodicea etc. He points out that these same Gentiles are also God's adopted children ('heirs', he says) and are offered the same promises, and the same blessings made by Jesus.

Today we too are the "adopted heirs" of the promises made by Jesus. So are all those of different races and nations who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Lord Jesus Christ,
we pray for all Christians
under threat this day;
for all those kept prisoner
and enduring hardship;
for those who have lost hope;
for those approaching the
end of their life;
and for all who struggle
with their faith.
Be with all who need You
this day, we pray.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to explore further Paul's work with the Gentiles:

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