This week I’ve been spending some time meditating on a verse from Ephesians:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
When you look at the context of this passage you see Paul writing in the previous chapter about his call to bring the Gospel to the gentile nations, calling a people group that was previously apart from God’s family “co-heirs” and brothers. We, as predominantly gentile believers, often miss how incredibly profound this incorporation of non-Jewish people in to God’s people would be at the time. There are some parallels to that relationship between these two people groups that could be made to present-day dynamics, but we are hard-pressed to fully comprehend the attitudes and actions that were built on millennia of precedent.
Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus is full of the theme of the old life apart from Christ and a new life in Jesus, and part of that new life is that despite our diversity in ability, background, race, roles, and traditions we are unified through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is through HIM that we are reconciled to God, and to each other. This bond of Christ’s Blood transcends any other difference or similarity we may otherwise use to identify ourselves.
In both Ephesians 3:1 and 4:1, Paul refers to himself as a prisoner for the Lord on behalf of the Gentiles. As we read in Acts 21, we see that Paul’s imprisonment was in part because he had the audacity and gall to preach to the gentiles, even bringing a gentile into the temple itself. This display of the new unity in Christ was so offensive that the people in Jerusalem put Paul’s life in danger.
Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, Paul writes that we should live worthy of the gospel in humility, gentleness, bearing with one another in love. From his own tumultuous time, Paul wants us to know that as we deal with one another in the family of God we are to approach one another Loving one another, humbly, gently, and patiently. Is it any wonder that this verse seems so appropriate for the day? I encourage all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to look at those around you as Paul desired us to live… as those unified through the blood of Christ.
For His Glory,