Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past…
– Romans 16:25
There is nothing more delicious than a good mystery.
My bookshelf is lined with Agatha Christie books. I have watched every sappy episode of Murder She Wrote and even recently hosted one of those murder/mystery dinners for my writer friends. I love television documentaries that explore questions about who lived on Easter Island or whether the stone megaliths found around the world are man-made or natural.
I’m constantly intrigued by why stuff happens.
The greatest mystery ever presented to mankind was the one hidden in the Old Testament. The salvation message was woven throughout ancient history like threads to some great but unknowable theme. From the moment God promised the Deliverer to Adam and Eve, those who sought out the God of Israel read and stumbled over the mystery of God’s dealings with humanity. It was like trying to piece a puzzle together without the picture on the box.
Only in the coming of Jesus Christ was the veil pulled away from the holy place and the breathtaking plan of the ages revealed.
Why the gospel had to be kept secret for millennia? Was it to keep Satan and his evil forces unaware of His plan? Was it to allow history to develop the story line God wrote for Earth? Was it to provide for every possible human social experiment to play out, revealing our inadequacies in the search for heaven?
One thing is for sure: God’s ways are not our ways. He is infinitely smarter, wiser, more faithful, more powerful, and more patient than the most perfect of His creation.
Perhaps the only way we could understand the magnitude of the message was to see it against the backdrop of our corporate and utter failure to God. Deliverance means the most to those who know they are drowning. Joy is most complete when the waiting has been long.
Understanding is appreciated more by those who have had to search for it.
…but now has been disclosed, and through the Scriptures of the prophets, in accordance with the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
– Romans 16:26, 27