The Mystery: Revealed and Hidden 


… to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:25-28) 


The New Testament authors speak about “the mystery” which God had kept hidden from the world, but then revealed it in the incarnation of His Son. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus and Jesus comes to abide in each of us. While this is the reality, it still remains a mystery for us as it is beyond our comprehension, beyond human reason as to how it happens. St John Chrysostom comments: 

I know many things but I do not know how to explain them. I know that God is everywhere and I know that He is everywhere in His whole being. But I do not know how He is everywhere. I know that He is eternal and has no beginning. But I do not know how. My reason fails to grasp how it is possible for an essence to exist when that essence has received its existence neither from itself nor from another. I know that He begot a Son. But I do not know how. I know that the Spirit is from Him. But I do not know how the Spirit is from Him.”  (A Patristic Treasury: Early Church Wisdom for Today, Kindle Loc. 4840-44) 


Some of what we experience of God still remains a mystery despite our entering into that mystery. Human logic is not able to account for how God’s ‘mystery’ could be possible for it defies human logic or scientific reasoning. It is like the Quantum world in which there are things we cannot know, uncertainties – not because we have yet to invent the mechanisms to measure them, but because they are by nature not measurable or knowable to us. There is no device which can be invented to know these things with certainty. We know of them and know their probabilities, and that is as far as we will ever be able to go. Nonetheless, they are real. They are not the “gaps” as in the God of the gaps but are a recognized part of the known universe. Christians knew of such ‘mystery’ in Christ long before Quantum mechanics began to reveal them about the observable universe. There are limits to our knowledge of the physical universe, and thus should not surprise us that there is also mystery in the spiritual order as well.