Summary: Sermon for the 7th Sunday of Easter, Year B
– 23 / The Eyes Of Your Heart
Intro: Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see You. I want to see You. To see You high and lifted up shinin' in the light of Your glory. Pour out Your power and love as we sing holy, holy, holy. This song immediately came to my mind when I read VS. 18 – “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he (Christ Jesus) has called you.”
I. A problem arose early in my research when I discovered the word “heart” (KARDIA) does not appear in my Greek NT. The word “mind” (DIANOLA) is in it’s place.
A. Dianola / mind refers to understanding, intellect, or reasoning. It is in the writings of Paul that the word “mind” becomes a theological category. He urges believers to have the “mind of Christ” in many of his letters.
B. So why the word dianola instead of kardia? And why is the Greek word for mind translated as “heart”? There is no word in Biblical Hebrew for mind. When the OT was translated into Latin the word “Heart” was used because the Hebrew people believed the heart was the center of thinking, reason and planning.
C. The expression “with the eyes of your heart enlightened” is associated with a change in conduct. Therefore, Paul’s prayer is for the believers in Ephesus to have a change in conduct.
II. Paul’s prayer is that his readers, both the believers in Ephesus and us, might have their spiritual wits sharpened so that we might understand what Christ Jesus has done for us.
A. That we might understand the hope to which Christ Jesus calls us.
B. That we might appreciate the inheritance we have because we are brothers and sisters of Christ.
C. That we might know that we have great power from God because we believe.
III. Do we really understand the full significance of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus? Do we really grasp the full significance and extent of the power we possess as believers?
A. VS. 19 “his incomparably great power for us who believe “power” = dunamis means that Christ Jesus passes to us the capability, the will to make things happen. Through Christ Jesus we are able to accomplish God’s will. The power of God will not fail!
B. VS. 20 “That power is like the working of his might strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead. . .”
“power” = ischus means strength, especially physical power. We have available to us the physical means to accomplish great things even as God raised Christ Jesus from death.
C. VS. 21 “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion . .” Paul uses a third word for power = exousia which means the ability to do anything without any hindrance. The word also infers permission. Paul tells us we are given permission by God to work God’s will through the Spirit of Christ.
Conclu: Paul concludes his prayer by saying that all of this power is not concentrated in any one individual. Rather, it is concentrated in the Church, which is the body of Christ. We do have power when we come together to work the will of Christ. By placing Christ Jesus at the right hand of God in the heavenly places is to concentrate divine energy and fullness in the church that the church becomes the practical means whereby God in Christ “fills all in all.”
When we are enlightened --- when we know the power of God --- when we let that power reign in our lives, anything is possible!