Ephesians 3:14 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family on earth derives its name.”
Observation: By this mid-point in the book of Ephesians, language tumbles from Paul’s pen in a veritable torrent of rejoicing in all that Christ has done for us. We were formerly far from God; now we are near. We were formerly outcasts; now we are “in Him”. We were formerly prisoners of flesh with no hope except eternal separation from Him; now we have been reconciled to God through Christ. We were formerly strangers and aliens; now we are fellow citizens with the saints, and all a part of God’s household. Formerly we had to live in ignorance of the things of God; now He has revealed everything through the Holy Spirit. Such exuberance! Such unsurpassed exaltation! And it builds to this stunning statement: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family on earth derives its name.”
Application: Why is this statement such a showstopper? It paints a picture of the Godhead in perfect unity: God the Father with a plan from the beginning for the perfect reconciliation of me to Himself; the plan perfectly and completely implemented by the Son who now indwells every believer through the power and might of the Holy Spirit. He goes on to say that all this has been for the purpose of grounding my heart in love. Imagine! Paul, through the Holy Spirit, knowing about the need to be grounded in order to have power, and this centuries before the discovery of electricity! All of this, Paul says, causes him to fall to his knees in worship of the heavenly family after which every earthly family is to be modeled.
The problem is, I wasn’t raised in a family like that. Sadly, neither were my children. In fact, apart from Christ Himself, none of us has grown up in a family with such fathering. Neither have I been a picture of Christ in my development as a son. What shall I do in the midst of such shortcoming? How shall I ever be free when in fact my earthly family has fallen so far short of the ideal modeled by my heavenly Father and His Son?
I’m in an awful fix because to the extent others or I have fallen short, they “owe” me, or I “owe” them. Like the foreman of an assembly line that never produces a perfect product, God has every right to throw the lot onto the trash heap. And I, being broken and imperfect, should well go through life expecting to be trashed at the end. But God’s plan was to change the assembly, to rebuild my DNA, to find a new power source, one not grounded in self-centered traditions of men, but one grounded instead in the love of Christ, that I might be “filled up to all the fullness of God.” (4:19) Once that happened I must no longer define myself by my brokenness; rather, I exalt with Paul who ends the chapter like this: “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Prayer: Wow, Lord. I am in awe of Your power to transform my heart. How I praise You!