“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27
This was something the Jewish mind could never fathom. They believed salvation was reserved for the chosen people of God, Gentiles were second class citizens, and were by no means worthy to receive God’s favor.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This doesn’t seem to be all that mysterious to us, yet it was unthinkable to all the Jews, Paul included. In fact, what’s mysterious to us is that the whole “household” of the Jews will be saved at the end time, which Paul alludes to in Romans. This is rather improbable to us, since there have been so few Jews who have come to the Lord throughout church history, except during its initial stage, of history of course.
What the Lord was determined to do among the Gentiles was mysterious to the apostle Paul and he could hardly believe what he was witnessing at the time. We must realize that Paul became an apostle to the Gentiles not by choice, but by necessity, by force even, for his main concern was his own people. So the first place he visited in a city during his missionary journey was always the synagogue where the Jews gathered together to worship on the Sabbath. Paul was caught by surprise when a large number of Gentiles started to embrace the Christin faith and he was greatly mystified by it.
He could only conclude the miraculous phenomenon was from the Lord and it wasn’t through human will that things were turning out this way. Paul knew who he was and by no means were people drawn to the Lord because of his personal effort or charm; it was entirely from the Lord, and whatever came from the hand of the Lord is mysterious to mere humans.
Aren’t we all Gentiles who by nature are hostile to God and have absolutely no desire to know the Lord? Had it been through our own volition, would we not have preferred to stay away from Jesus of Nazareth as far as we possibly could? Yet look at who and what we are now. Do we all feel exactly the same way as Paul when he wrote: “But by the grace of God I am what I am?” Isn’t this rather mysterious to you?
Why did I turn out to be so vastly different from my sisters and brother, and all the people from the little village where I was raised? This mystery can never be understood from a human point of view, and if the Almighty wasn’t involved in it, we can only attribute it to the luck of the draw just like all other things that have ever occurred in the world - capricious and meaningless. A world void of mystery is rather sterile and cold.