1When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentilesa . . . 2assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. 3As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.
6And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.b 7By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
8Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9I was chosen to explain to everyonec this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
We almost always take Paul’s talk about equality between Jews and Gentiles for granted, but there is a lot to think about here. Consider what the Jews did and endured because they were God’s chose people.
- Twice uprooted and brought to foreign lands to live.
- Enslaved and brutally beaten
- Their land taken, temple and capital city destroyed
- incredible brutality from their enemies
- and so on, and so on, and so on
After all of that, God accepts the people that inflicted most of that pain on the Jews as equals in God’s kingdom. How would you feel if you were a Jew?
Now consider what that implies in our personal life. How does God expect us to treat and feel about those who have hurt us? What does that say about the equality of the converted drug dealer or murderer and you and I? Considering this, how should we treat everyone around us? Is there any limit to what we are expected to forgive? And is forgiveness enough? Paul rejoices and expects the Jews to rejoice at the acceptance of their life long enemies into God’s kingdom. Can we do that?