Sobremesa xi.

Earth teaching heaven...?


so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 3:10, ESV)

We draw encouragement from knowing a “great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1, ESV) watches us… like the cheering section at an athletic event. They have already passed the ultimate test. Their example of faithful-to-the-end compels us to be the same. They teach us how.

But that’s not the whole story…

In the Expositors Bible Commentary, the sub-heading for the section on Ephesians 3:10-13 is “EARTH TEACHING HEAVEN”

It turns out we also are a “great cloud of witnesses” through which God makes known his multifaceted wisdom to “rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

All created intelligences are in view here. When the foretelling and accomplishment of the Christian salvation are said in 1Pe 1:12 to be “things into which angels long to look,” something of the same sort is intended here. 

New International Commentary on the New Testament (Ephesians 3:10)

That sounds like:

  • we are entrusted with something vital to teach others.

  • there are powers in heavenly places that learn from us.

Talk about a platform…! God has already built one for us.

Nothing here compares to it. Famous people can have an impressive platform, but it’s still embarrassingly close to nothing. Maybe they get a line or two in a history book… a few reminiscences in the press.

We who embrace Christ as our Savior have a larger platform. We teach heaven. Even so, we struggle with feeling “less” because our platform appears to be an insignificant sphere of family, friends and acquaintances. It’s good to remember…

You cannot measure a man’s soul by the size of his dwelling-house.

Expositors Bible Commentary (Ephesians 3:10-13)

Our struggle for attention mellows as we garner a sense of the stage we’re already on… spotlights shining, microphone in hand, a sold-out crowd in heavenly places…  all eyes on us. Our entire Christian pilgrimage on earth is our 15 minutes of fame.

We may have no more than a notion of what it all means, but we have enough to stake our lives on. Redeemed by the blood of Christ means we are not nothing. How we live is never insignificant. 

Sobremesa (after-meal table-talk) may not appear to be more than coffee, food and garbled noise. But we should approach it with reverent awareness.

Our Gospel teaching moments reach further than we imagine. We watch people next to us being transformed. Along with that—somehow—earth teaches heaven, too. We can’t see all who watch us… or how keen they are to learn from us. Partly, they watch us because they don’t experience redemption and faith the way we do.

What happens in Las Vegas might stay in Las Vegas. But what happens at our table is known in places we haven’t even conceived of yet. 

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7, ESV)


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