Read Colossians 1:24-27.The mystery. Paul uses this term very deliberately here because the "mystery religions" believed that truth was revealed to only a select few. However, every time Paul uses the word "mystery," he always combines it with "revealed," disclosed," "made known," because what was hidden is now revealed. There are no mysteries other that those that God chooses to keep from everyone. (i.e. When Christ will return, etc.) The hope of mankind is out there in the form of Jesus Christ. Everyone has access to Him. Everyone can receive their rhema through the Word of God. Different people have different giftings in the body of Christ, the Church, but all people have access to know God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. He's available to anyone, not just a few chosen ones. So Paul's statements here were very much directed at the problems creeping into the church in Colosse at the time.
"...the mystery that has been kept hidden....is now disclosed." NIV
But the truth of his message is eternal.
I love mysteries. I read voraciously (when I'm not on a writing deadline.) And mostly I read mysteries and thrillers. They are my favorite. I see how fast I can figure the outcome based on the clues. My favorite thing is to compare with other people reading the same book and see if I solved the mystery before them. (Okay, I'm a little competitive.)
My point is, what is the basic premise of any mystery? There's an answer that is hidden from general knowledge; there are clues to that answer; the clues accumulate until the protagonist of the story figures out the answer, and the mystery is solved. Paul is saying here that Jesus did exist; He was the plan all along. But God had hidden Him from us until the right time. We had clues in the prophet's revelations, but even the clues got messed up. The Jews understood a Messiah was coming, but they thought a great warrior/political leader would come in and rescue them from their oppressors. They still believe that. But in God's great wisdom, the mystery is revealed outside of our paradigm and expectations. Christ came in the humble example of how we are to live our lives. And now we have the hope of glory..... Hmmm, never saw that one coming.....
- Look up OT Scriptures that are revelations (clues) of Christ's coming as a baby and Savior.
- Do you believe and live as one who is a recipient of God's revelations? Or do you rely on others that you think are "the chosen" to reveal God's truth? If yes, why? Is that biblical?
- Research the Greek words, logos and rhema.
- Ask God to reveal Himself and His wisdom to you today. (Where in Scripture does He promise to answer that request?)