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“In the same way, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it—just as Messiah also does His community, because we are members of His body.”
—Ephesians 5:28-30 TLV
I’m going to come at this from a different approach and I think I will focus on this part of Ephesians 5 for the next few days. It represents a part in the letter where Paul is writing about accountability, honor, and walking in alignment with God, just as Jesus did. When we get to lines 21 through 33 we are seeing this interwoven blend of simile and metaphor to help the men and women of the “community” (what we now call the congregation or the church) be reminded of how they were to treat each other just as Jesus treated people, to unify in God just as Jesus did. If they learned how to regard, respect, hold accountable, follow, and lead each other just like Jesus did, then they would be in alignment—just as Jesus taught and demonstrated.
Context is Everything
When you don’t take this and other letters written by Paul (and others) into historical, cultural, geographic, and spiritual context—you not only pervert the meaning and intent, you downright lose it. There was a lot of chaos and confusion while the people were in exile, being ruled over by the Romans, and highly influenced by the Greeks and their gods. There’s a mishmash of ideologies. You have devout Jews mixed in with those who “dabbled” in the faith, along with others who initially worshiped Greek and other gods. So this of course caused discord and disharmony amongst the early flock of converts. You have some congregants who were devoted only to Paul, some only to this person and that person, and so some people were drawing lines declaring their allegiance to one over the other. saying, “Well Paul said…” just like you may say, “Well Pastor/Bishop said…”.
But what did God say?
I dive deeply into this in my Seek Him book series. Volume 2 and Workbook 2 are designed to push you past your comfort zone and what you think you know. Volume 3 and Workbook 3 are packed with the tools that will help you never look back to your old way of thinking and living.
Tomorrow let’s explore a little more. See you then!
Father, I praise You for today, another day to learn and grow. I ask for discernment and clarity, to know You and Your voice and presence above all others, and to distinguish my will from Yours. Father, point me in the right direction so that I may always seek, find, and share the truth, not revise or hide it.
I pray to always remain faithful and in my lane, not trying to do Your work. Forgive me for when I step out of line. Forgive me when I forget my role and purpose. Forgive me when I think I have the right to dictate to and control others. Check my heart Father. I serve only You. Amen.
I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others. I love you all!
Copyright 2021-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Music: Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com