What a Mystery!

William C. Brownson

Read: 1 Timothy 3:14-16

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (v. 16)

In the Bible a “mystery” is not a “whodunit” but a “Here it is!” Scripture’s divine mystery is not a mind-bender but a heart-quickener. The word “mystery” means, for Paul, an “unveiled secret”—something that has been hidden but now is made known. The mighty mystery is Jesus, captured in words Paul quotes from an early Christian hymn: “He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”

What a story! The “mystery” is the revelation of what God has done in his Son for the salvation of the world. Jesus revealed God in his human life and was shown to be the Son in his resurrection. God himself affirmed this revelation when Jesus “received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (2 Peter 1:16-17; cf. Mark 1:9-11). He was seen by the hosts of heaven, and heard of among the nations of earth. He, the risen, reigning Lord, is believed in here and exalted there. This is the creed we confess, the song we sing.

“Think, Timothy,” urges Paul, “about how you and your people ought to live in the light of all that!” —Bill Brownson

As you pray, use today’s key verse to praise the Lord Jesus.