Greek words are so beautiful. Such allure and boldness in their twists and curves. I am falling in love with a language I cannot read.
The attraction simply is this: these are the words that bring me even closer to what my Lord said so very long ago. A step closer to the breath of God’s voice. His life whispering in my ear. I am so grateful He gave me this hunger and love for words, especially His.
I was making my way through Ephesians chapter one and I saw that the Greek/English literal translation slightly varied from the RSV right here:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. v.7-8
What RSV and many other Bibles have translated as riches, my Greek said wealth.
Riches and wealth are the same aren’t they? For whatever reason riches sounds more holy but the word: Ploutos actually means wealth, an abundance of stuff. Having a bunch of money and not having to worry about a thing.
What a carnal word for us.
We do not often link wealth and riches (possessions, houses, cars, clothes, money, money money )with the gifts God has for us.
(Well, ok I know some people do. What a shame.)
But the more I thought about it the more I was awed by God and how He loves.
The verse says we have redemption according to His riches. What exactly is redemption?
being released from captivity
by someone paying the ransom
according to His riches.
So you understand: the kidnapped child of a corporate exec will be worth more ransom than a teacher’s kid simply because of the riches of the Father.
What do you suppose God’s riches are? Can He pay for whatever He wants? Could he buy you a nice steak dinner without blinking? What about a vacation to the
in the middle of winter? Could He pay off your mortgage and your car? Can He
stroke a check and write off the hospital bills for your momma’s cancer
treatment? Could He build a new school for the orphans? Can He buy medicine for
a young HIV positive boy? Can He build a shelter for abused girls?
Yes, and yes, again and again. He can and does perform these monetary miracles everyday.
But the beautiful thing is it is because His riches are not stocks and investments or real estate or oil fields. His riches are His grace.
Which He lavishes on us.
You are far more important than anything that can be purchased. A soul is of infinitely greater value than even a hospital for orphans. Your Father could purchase the land and build the building and staff it with doctors and medicine but of far greater worth to him is paying the ransom for your soul. Because if all the schools and orphanages and hospitals are built but a single soul is lost it is all meaningless.
Think about it, there is a soul, a sweet creation of God who at this very moment is sitting in a cell of sin, hands shackled, legs bound, eyes searching for an end to the torment, searching for a Redeemer.
Someone to pay the ransom and release them from their pain.
And even though the price is beyond what you or I could ever even imagine, God from His magnificent, never depleted, storehouse of grace is counting out the price and laying out the riches of His grace one by one like a stack of gold coins like piles of crisp $1000 dollar bills. His abundant riches. His unmerited Grace.
His grace that overshadowed a young woman and breathed life into her, and the child who grew to be Messiah. The Savior who walked and talked and lived to be like you. To know you and your pain. To know your hope and joy. To know your despair and heartache. Jesus, the most valuable thing God purchased from the riches of His grace, Jesus, who in turn paid your ransom with His very body on a cross.
Why could Jesus submit to the cross and feel the precious gift of life drip from Him?
Because He counted the cost and He knew His Father could pay.
He can pay for the most abundant blessed joyful peaceful life anyone can ever have. He has the wealth, the riches, for it all.
And you are worth it.