“This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
It may not seem like much of a mystery to hear the news that “Gentiles are fellow heirs,” but to first century Jewish believers, this was something they had never expected. Just when they thought they knew the way to God, Jesus opened a door “through the gospel.” Whatever the Christian life looks like, it looks the way it does because you have entered “through the gospel.” If you have seen any growth or change in your life, it is because you have entered “through the gospel.” And if, like the Ephesians, you are learning to tear down the walls that typically divide people—walls like ethnicity, status, income, gender, etc.—it is because you have entered the door “through the gospel.” You see, there are only two doors. There’s the door “through the gospel” and the door “through yourself.” One leads to life and the other leads to … nothing.
I’m reminded of a time when I took some of our high school students to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. Early in the tour there is an exhibit that highlights different ways that people have prejudice against other people. It is convicting and powerful, but the point is to help everyone realize that prejudice is something that everyone has. You can’t help leaving that exhibit feeling a little guilty. Then to make matters worse, you are given a choice between two doors to continue the tour. One door says, “Unprejudiced” and the other door says, “Prejudiced.” Everyone is instructed to enter through the door that best describes their attitudes. Are they “Prejudiced” or “Unprejudiced?” For most people, the point is obvious.
All our students walked through the “Prejudiced” door. I’m glad they did! First, I’m glad because this is a healthy realization for all people. But second, I’m glad because, when we got through the door, the tour guide told us that the “Unprejudiced” door is locked. You can’t go through it. No one can. Wow! To say, “I am unprejudiced” is to say, “I have it all figured out,” and “I am good enough,” and “I don’t need help.” There is only one door that leads to finding help, growth and life.
What a great picture of the gospel! There is a door that is open to us “through the gospel.” The other door, the door of our own effort, the door that relies on you and I having it all figured out and trying to be good enough is an option … but it just doesn’t lead anywhere. The door to life is the same for all … the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor of Adult Ministries