“The revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him.”
Romans 16:25-26 (NIV)
In the gospel of Jesus Christ, a mystery has been revealed. According to the apostle Paul, this mystery was hidden for a long time, but at just the right time it was opened to the world.
The mystery involves all nations and God’s will for them to know and trust in him, and we find hints about it throughout the Old Testament.
God told Abraham about the mystery when he called him out of Mesopotamia. “…go to the land I will show you,” God said, “and I will bless you … and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Centuries later, when God brought Israel out of Egypt, he told Pharaoh that he would show his power in Egypt so that “…my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
When Joshua led the people into the land of promise, he said that God had opened a dry path through the Jordan River for Israel so that “…all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful…” (Joshua 4:24).
The shepherd boy David told the Philistine giant, Goliath, that God would give him the victory so “…the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:46).
Many of the psalms mention the mystery. Psalm 33:8 says, “Let all the earth fear the Lord, let all the people of the world revere him.”
The mission of the church is based on what God has promised from the beginning – that the entire world would come to know that he is God. Although the Old Testament is focused on Israel, various passages here and there remind us that God has not only Israel in mind.
When we are involved in mission, when we are sharing the blessing he has given us, we are taking part in the mystery revealed in Jesus Christ — God’s plan to bring salvation to the whole world.
“…sing to the Lord, all the earth…. proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations” (Psalm 96:1-3).
“The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations…. all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth” (Psalm 98:2-4).
We all take part in different ways, but for each of us, the call is there: Go, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations, and teach them to do the same thing (Matthew 29:19-20).
The secret is out. The mystery has been revealed. And Jesus wants us to spread the good news.
Eternal Father, thank you that the mystery of the ages has been revealed in Christ Jesus, and help me to do my part in spreading this good news.
Study by Joseph Tkach