17. Breaking Down Barriers: The Mystery of Unity Between Jews and Gentiles-Col. 1:24-29 Part 2

The Berean Podcast

22-03-2023 • 9 minutos

At the beginning of this passage, Paul clarifies that God chose him to serve as a minister for the Colossians to fulfill God's word. Paul explains that he has been given a ministry hidden from previous generations. This is a revelation that's both fascinating and significant - Paul is essentially saying that God had a previously unknown mystery, but it has now been revealed.Paul employs the term "mystery" in his writing, yet its exact meaning may remain unclear to the reader. The Greek word used in the text is "mysterion," which serves as the origin of English words such as "mystery" and "mysterious." This term has taken on various meanings throughout history, including mystical and spiritual connotations. Nonetheless, the inquiry here is precisely what Paul intends by utilizing this term.Interestingly, Paul uses the word "mystery" 13 times in the New Testament. However, we can't assume he means the same thing every time he uses it. We need to examine biblical evidence to understand what he means by "mystery" in a particular context. For example, in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 and Romans 16:25-26, Paul refers to the mystery of God's plan of salvation for everyone, which was hidden for ages but has now been revealed through prophetic writings. Ephesians 5:32 talks about the mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church. And in Romans 11:25, he mentions the mystery of Israel's hardening of the heart. By examining these passages and others, we can better understand what Paul meant by "mystery" in different contexts. The question is the meaning of "mystery" in the text under consideration. Contextually, both the Old and New Testaments suggest that Paul revealed that Gentiles now share the same promise as Jews, which would have been a significant revelation to the Jews.In examining this text, several points are worth considering. First, Paul acknowledges that he lived during a time of prophetic fulfillment. Secondly, He states that he was a vessel for that prophetic fulfillment.Through the prophets, God predicted that Gentiles would be included in His plan of salvation, and there would no longer be a division between Jews and Gentiles. This is supported by Old Testament texts such as Isaiah 11:10.“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10,Thirdly, passages in the New Testament, such as Acts 15:7-9, record the fulfillment of this prophecy through Jesus Christ. Peter speaks of God's inclusion of Gentiles, making no distinction between them and Jews and purifying their hearts through faith.While Paul uses the word "mystery" to refer to various concepts in different contexts, in our text this morning, he refers to the unity of Jew and Gentile in Christ as a single mystery. Other New Testament passages record this prophecy's fulfillment through Jesus Christ. Consider Acts 15:7-9:And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.The Colossian church was unique in that it was composed of Jews and Gentiles, despite the hostility between these groups during the first century, as evidenced by passages in the Gospels. By emphasizing this unity, Paul sought to prevent divisions or animosity within the Colossian church based on cultural or ethnic differences. This message is relevant to the Colossian church of Paul's day and believers today as we struggle with cultural and ethnic divides in our churches and communities.

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