Updated: Nov 14, 2022
My October and November podcasts (Season 2, Episodes 4-5) are concentrated on Paul's letter to the Ephesians. This letter has been called "The Queen of the Epistles," and using my Himalayas of the New Testament / mountain analogy, it becomes the Mountain Queen! I've chosen the image above of the Himalayan mountain of Ama Dablam, which to nearby residents resembles a woman with a necklace of snow draping down from her neck and shoulders.
This blog is a preview of the October "Himalayas of the New Testament" podcast, available on Apple, Spotify and Podbean podcasting sites. Please search on "Cecil Taylor monthly podcasts."
Ephesians stands out from Paul's other letters as the most impersonal toward its recipients and the most theological. Paul is usually writing to a particular church, but as I explain in the first podcast, in this case he is writing to a set of churches, some of which he has apparently never visited. Although the letter is labeled as intended for the Ephesians, Paul is clearly not writing to the church of Ephesus. He lived three years with the Ephesians; Acts 20 records a teary farewell when he leaves. The impersonal nature of his greetings in Ephesians is one clue (among others I share in the podcast) that this letter is not for the church at Ephesus alone.
Much of Ephesians actually is borrowed from Colossians - 55 verses, to be exact. It's believed that as Paul was writing to the Colossians, he expanded to new ideas about God and Jesus Christ and wanted to capture those in a more theological and instructive statement to several churches in Asia Minor.
If there is one overall theme to Ephesians, it is on the unity that is achieved through Christ - certainly a message we need to hear today! Paul extrapolates from that unity how we are supposed to extend that unity into the church, into our homes and into our relationships.
I cover three themes in the October podcast, which is focused on the first half (three of six chapters) of Ephesians:
The work of the Holy Trinity
Unified by Christ
In both podcasts, I will skip around Ephesians a bit in order to cover certain themes together. There are three more themes I'll share in the November podcast.
As a result of stressing themes rather than a pure verse-by-verse reading of Ephesians, I have chosen not to analyze in the podcast one of my favorite parts of Ephesians (although I read it as a closing prayer in the October podcast). Paul produces a marvelous prayer and blessing for his readers, while also uttering tremendous praise for God through Christ Jesus. Let me share it here again for you to contemplate and to pray yourself. In fact, if you're ever called upon to pray, you could read this as a closing! Here is Ephesians 3: 14-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
For more insight into Ephesians, please listen to the October and November podcasts of "Himalayas of the New Testament."
Monthly podcasts from Cecil Taylor Ministries can be found in the following locations by searching on "Cecil Taylor Monthly Podcasts"