A memory came to my mind as I was going through this passage, and listening to Nichole Nordeman’s, song “ Why.”
My friend Ashley was going with me to a friend’s church years ago, and I remember we were asked if there was something burning to say in our heart at that moment, the room held maybe 25 people at the most to be present.
I got up and walked up front and without music, I just started singing, “ Why”.
I am not tone deaf or anything, but I am not someone who belongs on “ American Idol” either.
I sang the entire song.
Even though I thought it was horrible, I saw my friend go up and pray. She accepted Jesus into her heart that night.
Here are the lyrics to “Why” and then I’ll go on. They are very powerful, so I encourage you to read them fully.
By: Nichole Nordeman
We rode into town the other day
Just me and my Daddy
He said I’d finally reached that age
And I could ride next to him on a horse
That of course was not quite as wide
We heard a crowd of people shouting
And so we stopped to find out why
And there was that man
That my dad said he loved
But today there was fear in his eyes
So I said “Daddy, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why is He dressed in that bright purple robe?
I’ll bet that crown hurts Him more than He shows
Daddy, please can’t you do something?
He looks as though He’s gonna cry
you said he was stronger than all of those guys
Daddy, please tell me why
Why does everyone want him to die?”
Later that day the sky grew cloudy
And Daddy said I should go inside
Somehow he knew things would get stormy
Boy was he right
But I could not keep from wondering
If there was something he had to hide
So after he left I had to find out
I was not afraid of getting lost
So I followed the crowds
To a hill where I knew men had been killed
And I heard a voice come from the cross
And it said, “Father, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why are they casting their lots for My robe?
This crown of thorns hurts Me more than it shows
Father, please can’t You do something?
I know that You must hear My cry
I thought I could handle the cross of this size
Father, remind Me why
Why does everyone want Me to die?
When will I understand why?”
“My precious Son, I hear them screaming
I’m watching the face of the enemy beaming
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know
But this dark hour I must do nothing
Though I’ve heard Your unbearable cry
The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies
Soon You’ll see past their unmerciful eyes
Look there below, see the child
Trembling by her father’s side
Now I can tell You why
She is why You must die”
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
Love does more than it feels. God’s people love one another. Others come to know about this love through our deeds of love we do for each other. Christ love impels us to action.
What I find interesting also within these passages. Paul is not just writing to Ephesians, but to anyone who would read these words. He prays for the intercession of the Holy Spirit for us even reading the words today.
16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (interceding for you, standing in the gap)
Something I love that people do at the church. On Sunday morning, before each message. There is a group of about 5 people who go and pray on each chair. I think its so awesome, that they do that. Also that there are a group of people sometimes who will pray walk neighborhoods, and even walk with permission through the highschool.
17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
(To give us the wisdom to know the life we are supposed to live, and help the church never stop from learning more about Jesus and how to become like Him.)
Verse 17 in my way of reading seems almost like a plea. Paul must be writing it with such emphasis of how important it is to live a life like Christ. “ so that you may know him better.”
Notice he doesn’t say, “ because you don’t know any better.”
Paul writes with the intent to “ give them a break” and with hope that they already have a sense of who God is. Just have to work harder to come to that understanding, and put their old lives behind them.
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
I can almost picture tears in his eyes as he wrote out verse 18. As if he possibly was on his knees praying, and added that verse from the joy within his tortured soul.
In the Nelson’s Bible Commentary, this part of the passage is focused verse 18.
“ I pray also that eyes of your hearts may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”
To have spiritual understanding. A heart being illuminated by knowledge.
20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
I think what Paul stresses the most in this part of the chapter adds to what he said in the beginning of Chapter 1.
We know it is important to realize we are ONE in Christ, but now he adds that we need to come together and intercede for one another. We need to pray for each other, not just lead a civil life, but pray even in the most difficult times.
We know this. We know the past, and we know what is to come. We must learn from both.
He also asks that we come together to KNOW Christ, to lead a life of love, serving others with our heart.
Even when we don’t feel like it.
“We are not human beings living a spiritual life, but we are spiritual beings, living in a human life.”
God raised Jesus from the dead to show the power of Love, and we must lead that daily in our own lives.
We must too, lead a life of sacrific like Jesus, and we too have a place in Heaven.