Making some wild guesses about the Ephesians who sound a lot like us

Ephesians 3: 19 says “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

I admit that I don’t know a thing about the church at Ephesia and I’ve never personally met an Ephesian so I’m not quite sure what Paul’s purpose was in his letter to the church there. Since I’m operating in the dark all I can do is make a couple of assumptions.

My guess is that the Ephesians must have been a group that really wanted answers. They were looking for definitions, boundaries even, on this whole God thing. Maybe they wondered just how much they had to mess up before God would kick them to the curb. I’m not sure but the questions sound familiar.

On the other hand maybe they were really penitent and guilty people wondering if they had screwed up so badly that God had given up on them already. Like I said, tough to say and I’m just trying to draw lines here because Paul is clearly trying to either flummox or comfort them.

I draw these conclusions because he tells them they should know something that goes beyond knowing. He could be telling them to knock off with the analytics and just accept and know (have faith?). Or, he could be telling them to quit beating themselves up and know that God’s love is more and greater than anything we mere mortals could ever understand. In either case nicely done Paul, you hit it out of the park.

So where does that leave us in 2017? I don’t know. Does anyone out there need to reign in their tendency to want it all laid out for them? Does anyone out there need to hear that no matter what they’ve done in the past that God still loves them? Yes and yes. Whether we think Paul is being obtuse or intentionally vague or trying to avoid our questions about God’s love altogether, or we think Paul is telling us we’re forgiven no matter what; I think we’re good.

Paul wrote a lot of letters to a lot of churches so I think he probably got pretty good at it. My guess is also that there were as many personalities and questions and approaches to this whole belief thing then as there are today. So if his language seems a little quizzical don’t worry. My guess is he was trying to speak to you or your neighbor and if you’ll look a bit I think you’ll see the message for you no matter how you decode it.

Whichever camp you fall in I think we’re about as lucky as we can be. This love we’re given that we don’t understand comes to us no matter which angle we come at it from. That’s awfully good news and I hope you’ll share it with a friend that maybe needs to be reminded of it today.

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