Ephesians 3:1-13 … The Apostle here gives testimony of his stewardship and responsibility toward the Gentile population. Think of this: here’s a Pharisaic Jew, trained by some of the leading rabbis of the day (Gamaliel … Acts 22:3), ministering full time among Gentiles, a class of people who the Jews detested and found offensive. It’s pretty remarkable but it’s the calling Christ has given to Paul and a calling that Paul is pursuing whatever the cost. He’s in prison in Rome (Ephesians 3:1) because of the hostility of Jerusalem Jews to his ministry to Gentiles, but Paul nobly says (v.13) don’t lose heart, my trials are for your glory. And the ministry was to reveal the “mystery” (v.3 … a mystery here is something not revealed in the Old Testament), which was that Jewish believers and Gentile believers are heirs together, are one body (the church) and share in the promise of Christ.
Given what you know about Jew and Gentile relationships, that’s a huge cultural shock and that’s why this message is so important. Now for our own cultural shock … believers anywhere of whatever background, race, gender, social status are part of that one body, the church. Amazingly, verses 9-10 seem to say that the church’s functioning and operation in the world will communicate to angelic beings what God has done in the church – He has brought together people with a bond of faith in Jesus Christ to minister in His name.