There are many great mysteries in the world. Why does the toast always land butter side down when you drop it? Where does the other sock go when you put it in the dryer? Why do people try to fish on the ice before it is thick enough? But, according to Paul, in our reading today, one of the greatest mysteries in the world is the salvation of the Gentiles. Now the fact that Gentiles could be saved at all is not the mystery, for the Old Testament is filled with prophecies and examples of the nations coming to God. God had called out a special people unto himself as a witness to the world, so that the world would find salvation in him. No, the salvation of the Gentiles was part of the Old Testament picture. The mystery was in the “how”.
The mystery was that both Gentile and Jew would come to salvation through faith in the person of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (v.6). Even today many Jewish people find this thought beyond their ability to accept. You and I have lived so long now in this mystery that it no longer seems a mystery, but the most normal thing in the world. Lost people can easily be saved by putting their whole faith in Jesus, the Messiah. Though the Old Testament was filled with predictions that this was exactly what God would do, many of the Jewish nation could not accept it.
Now there are about two or three different things you can do with a mystery. You can scoff at it, rejecting it as impossible. You can let it sit there, unsure what to do with it. Or you can delight in it and embrace it as a wonderful thing that brings excitement and joy to your heart. Which of these three options are you going to take?