One time a fellow from the city was driving through the countryside. When he saw three boys sitting on a porch, he stopped to ask directions.
He noticed that one of the boys was rolling a large watermelon back and forth with his toe. Intending to amuse himself at their expense, he said, “I will give ten dollars to the fellow who can eat that whole watermelon.”
One boy said, “ I’d like to try. Will you wait here for a few minutes?”
The city fellow said, “Sure.”
The boy went around behind the house for a few minutes and returned. “I’m ready now.” he said, and ate the whole melon.
The city fellow was stunned as he gave up his ten dollars. He asked, “I have to know, what did you do while you were gone?”
The boy told him, “I wasn’t sure I could eat it, and since we have another one out back about that same size, I went to eat it, to see if I could.”
Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church has asked for comments on Paul’s overall purpose in Ephesians. This article is too long to put in his comment section, so I put it here.
When the Jews celebrate the Passover, one part of the observance is ‘the four questions’. They are asked by the ‘four sons’. One son is wise and can understand the deep meanings of the Passover. One is simple, and can only understand the basics of why the Passover is celebrated. One is wicked, and has absented himself from the observance. And one does not know enough to ask and must be coached. The point is that God has made the Passover accessible to each son according to his understanding.
So it is with the scripture. It is simple and straightforward enough for the simple. It is deep enough for the wise. It is plain enough for the wicked and powerful enough to draw him back to his God. It is useful even to the one, who like a child, does not know enough to ask.
Many people are disinclined to read, much less study, their Bibles, because they are intimidated. Bible experts have given them the impression, perhaps unintentionally, that the Bible is hard to understand. The Scripture is God’s word to Man, so He made it accessible to all men. Remember, scripture wasn’t written just for the scholars. There is enough good stuff in the scripture to keep any scholar busy, but we all can understand it when we read it, or listen to someone read it.
An example of this is the book of Ephesians. This book seems to cover a lot of territory. There’s references to mystery, glory, power, grace, lists of behaviors to perform and others to avoid, and repeated references to something called, ‘in Him’.
The book of Ephesians is one of what I call ‘the short books’. These ‘short books’ are too short to cover more than one subject. Each ‘short book’ covers one or another of the main subjects of the Bible. They are helpful because when we encounter that subject somewhere else in the Bible, we can better understand how it fits into the whole Bible. Ephesians is actually a letter from Paul to the Christians in Ephesus. You can read the entire letter in 20 minutes or less.
Bible experts have written large books about what Ephesians means, but anyone who can read can see that it is speaking about being in Jesus more than any other thing. Everything else, the mystery, the rules of behavior, the glory, etc. are all in Jesus. And we are in Him.
Pick up your Bible. It’s a great read.
For more about the ‘short books’ see “We all know that the Bible is important”
For more about the ‘four questions’ and the ‘four sons’ see Judaism 101 and Chabad.org
For more about understanding the Bible for yourself see “Let’s not argue about semantics” and “We can be weaned from the milk bottle and start eating our own food”