Deep and Wide…
“in order that you might be able to attain with all of the saints that which is the breadth and the length and the height and the depth to know the surpassing knowledge of the love of Christ and that you might be filled by all of the fullness of God.”
As Paul waxes elegant with his blessing upon the Ephesian church, we perhaps should ask a simple question. Is it possible for any finite being to really know the breadth, length, etc… of the love of Christ? The answer, of course, is a resounding, “no!” We certainly experience it as believers not just in our salvation but also every day in our sanctification, but we will never comprehend the fullness thereof. In fact, even after a millennium in the presence of God, we will still be awed by that which we have yet to understand about the character of our bridegroom.
My shelves are lined with books of those who have sought to plumb the depths of the love of Christ, but my library is hardly exhaustive. In fact, yet today, people still write books seeking to further plumb the depths. No matter how deep we explore, the bottom will still be out of sight. But why would Paul wish something as a blessing that the people could not attain? The simple answer is that there is no sweeter and no more joyful pursuit in life than to pursue the depth of Christ love so that we might be filled with the fullness of God.
Later in this letter, Paul will make the comparison between marriage and Christ and his church. How appropriate that is and how useful it is as we seek to understand what Paul is communicating to us. As I write these words, I have been married to my wife for over twenty years. There is still more and more that I am learning about her character and personality and that she is learning about mine. I would have it no other way. There is great joy in slowly learning a person over time. I have no doubt that by the time we have been married 50 years, presuming we live that long, I will still be learning things about my lovely wife. As Christians, we make it our mission to learn the personality of Christ our bridegroom and we will have eternity to do so. Yet, as he is inexhaustible, we will never exhaust his fullness.
What is sad is when professing Christians become content with only a surface understanding of their Lord. Would you be content with only a surface understanding of your spouse? Is your goal just to get married and once married, check that off of your list and then ignore the one to whom you are married? That would be foolish, yet that is how many Christians behave toward their Savior Bridegroom. Beloved, content yourself with a life-long pursuit of the love of Christ. Such a pursuit will never disappoint because your quest will never reach the bottom, the side, or the top of Christ’s love for those he redeemed.