Studies in Ephesians — Ephesians 5:21-33

The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Studies in EphesiansEphesians 5:21-33


D – E – F – E – R


See also: I John 4:20-20; Matt. 4:8-10; John 18:36; Col. 3:18-19; Neh. 1:5; I Cor. 13:7


Note: We are again receiving practical guidelines for living from the Apostle Paul.


Dedication – v. 21 – In the home we are to submit to one another.  This verse speaks of mutual submission.  Submission is not for some family members and not others.


Example – v. 24 – The example is the submissive Church.  The church that is submissive both obeys and follows.  It allows its head, Christ, to lead.  In the home we must allow Godly leadership to lead.


Favoritism – v. 25. Jesus sacrificed himself for a heavenly family.  He was offered a worldly empire, and he turned it down.  We may have to reject the temptations of the world in favor of our home life. We are to express agape love in the home.


Exclusivity – v. 31 – Sometimes we become critical of the self-centered who may say, “It’s all for us three and there is none for thee.”  In the family it is right to give special attention to our spouse and our children.  God places us in families to minister to one another in a special way.  The love that is described in this passage is agape love, and that is a self-sacrificing love.


Respect – v. 32 – Respect is owed.  It is the respect of love in the presence of Christ.


Exemplary Story:  At a summer book fair I purchased a wonderful volume: Norman Vincent Peale’s Christmas Book.  A curious idea came to mind: what if the old stories changed since I last read them?  (I must explore this idea again.) I looked for O’Henry’s story, “The Gift of the Magi.”  It still began with Del and Jim who were poor by worldly standards.  It still reported that the couple sold their prized possessions in the middle of the story. He sold his watch, and she sold her hair.  It still ended with Del giving her husband a useless watch chain, and it still ended with Jim giving his wife a useless set of hair combs.  No, the story ended just the same.  The couple purchased useless gifts, but they gave greatest gift of all – the gift of love.


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