Ephesians 2:6-7 NIV
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
The word “show” does not simply mean to tell a story, the strength of the word in the Greek is much richer. “Endeiknumi” is a practical demonstration of something! The idea is that of putting on a display and giving visible proof while appealing to facts. The most effective way to prove the worth of a thing is by hands-on demonstration.
In the early 60’s, before the invention of the infomercial, one of the first products to use the famous red-and-white “As Seen On TV” logo was a kitchen appliance called the Veg-O-Matic. The device was shaped like a capital letter “H” and had an operating handle on top with a spring loaded mechanism. You placed your vegetable above a set of blades and slammed the moving handle down on top of the produce. In the olden times, the only way to chop an onion was with a knife. This revolutionary product delivered no more tears for chopping onions.
The key to sales was cleverly showing a practical demonstration of the product on TV! Veg-O-Matics sold in the thousands as the presenter enthusiastically declared, “It slices! It dices!” The founder and owner of Veg-O-Matic would eventual sell his business for 56 million dollars. Not bad for just slicing a bunch of veggies.
Much like the Veg-O-Matic—seeing it makes it believable—so too do we show God’s kindness to this world in a practical demonstration! It’s one thing to talk about the kindness of God, it’s quite another to see it working before your eyes. And, believe it or not, people will see God’s kindness working in your life.
(NIV) Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The display of His kindness is witnessed in the good works that God prepared in advance for you and I to do. This is not the good works of the flesh, but good works He’s created. The idea is simply that God defined what the good works were—then, you and I become His “hands-on display” of those works! We read of the Lord Jesus saying in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (NIV) These good works are our shining before men—spiritual Veg-O-Matics so to speak.
One final thought about this word “show,” Kenneth Wuest notes that the Greek word in this verse appears in the middle voice, meaning the subject of the verb acts in his own interest.¹ In short, God displays His kindness to believers for His own glory in order that He may be glorified. That’s why He prepared the good works in advance. In someway our live and living demonstration is His works resulting from His workmanship and poetry. You and I are the hands-on display of God’s kindness—and the spectators, those tuning in, Wuest says, are men and angels.
J. Robert Hanson
¹ Wuest, Kenneth, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Vol. I, 1973, Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament, p.68