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In our study of Ephesians chapter three, we will look at the great mystery of how God brings together Jews and Gentiles to form a new unified body.
"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -" NIV translation
Paul opens by explaining that his mission from God is to share the good news with the Gentiles. Paul describes himself as a "prisoner of Christ Jesus" which might seem strange to us but a prisoner is one that cannot leave or do whatever they want. Paul wants them to know that this is from God and not a decision that he made on his own.
"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly." NIV translation
When Paul accepted Christ and went to Jerusalem to testify, you can bet that it was big news and the story would have spread rapidly. So, Paul assumes that they have heard of his calling and the fact that he was sent to the Gentiles.
"In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets." NIV translation
The mystery that Paul refers to is the fact that, through Jesus, Jews and Gentiles are united into one body. The Old Testament talked of all men knowing God but the Jews were always separate as God's chosen people. The mystery is that they are still God's chosen people but Gentiles are included.