Commented Bible Passages

These Bible meditations are meant as a way of seeking God in silence and prayer in the midst of our daily life. During the course of a day, take a moment to read the Bible passage with the short commentary and to reflect on the questions which follow. Afterwards, a small group of 3 to 10 people can meet to share what they have discovered and perhaps for a time of prayer.


Ephesians 3:14-19: Jesus Christ, space of freedom

What intimidates us? What restrains our movement forward and curbs our freedom? What brings us to the point of calling it into doubt? It is useful to have these questions in mind while reading our passage and several other ones in the Letter to the Ephesians.

Those for whom this text was destined seem to believe that they are subject to the influence of forces beyond God’s control. The prophets had experienced similar struggles when the people turned towards idols. In the Letter to the Ephesians, even if the cultural context is different (it has perhaps a matter here of believing in the power of the stars), the questions and the fears have not changed very much. In both cases people feel intimidated. The freedom to choose and to remain faithful to one’s choice has been compromised.

This explains the author’s insistence on the word “power”. To an audience that seems to be worried, he affirms that God made use of an incomparable power in raising Christ from the dead. Nothing can resist it. There is no real power that could come from elsewhere, the origin of which would be outside him. All things are subject to him.

Still, the eyes of the heart have to be opened (1:18) to see “how extraordinarily great the power is which God has exercised for us” (1:19). The more believers contemplate this, the stronger their “inner self” becomes (3:16), in other words the ability to choose with intelligence and freedom. Here we are quite far from a religion of fear and superstition.

Knowing Christ and believing in him means evolving in a space of freedom. When the author speaks of “grasping the width, the length, the height and the depth” he does not specify what the object is that must be grasped. We have to read the following verse to find the expression “knowing the love of Christ” (3:19a). No doubt we are meant to understand that there is nothing greater than this mystery and we do not need to search anywhere else but in it.

- What plays on my fears and my worries today to make me doubt my freedom?

- What helps me discover the freedom that Christ gives?

Other bible meditations:

Last updated: 1 December 2023