‘’But God’s word is not chained.’’ (2 Timothy 2:9b).
The final words in Philippians disclose the amazing insight that the gospel had penetrated as far as ‘’Caesar’s household.’’ It is believed that this letter was written from Rome, where Paul was a prisoner. As Romans 16 shows, the church in the capital city of the Empire was made up of a diverse group of people. There were Jews and Gentiles in the congregation; the wealthy and the poor; those who were influential (in worldly terms) and those who were slaves. Here we see that there were even believers in the Emperor’s own household. We can add this titbit of information to what we already saw in (1:12, 13): ‘’I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him.’’ The Message.
There are no locked doors to the risen Jesus (see John 20:19-23). The gospel is unstoppable. It will triumph in this world (2 Timothy 2:9).The Romans had not actually conquered the world, only a part of it. They ruled over the then known world we might say. But here are the first fruits of what is to come. ‘’Caesar’s household’’ and all it represents (i.e. every other world power system) is going to be replaced by the Kingdom of God. His Word and His will are going to prevail, while everything else crumbles to dust Daniel 2:34, 35, 44 and 45).
As we come to the end of our journey through the ‘epistle of joy’, I want to share in Paul’s closing greeting and speak it to you:
‘’The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.’’
‘’Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.’’ The Message.
Only by God’s grace will we be able to live out the truth we have discovered in Philippians, and be a joyful people in all circumstances. Thank God for His amazing grace, because it is available to you and me.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that out of Paul’s suffering you brought something as beautiful as this gem of a letter. It sparkles with joy and makes me want to be a praising, thankful person always.