May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:18-19, NKJV
This is one of my favorite Bible words. You might be thinking: “I’ve never seen that in my Bible before!?”
In Ephesians 3:18, Paul uses this Greek word, which is interpreted in the NKJV as “comprehend.” We often times lose a lot in translation from Hebrew and Greek to English. This is one of those words that often loses its gusto in translation. The definition of Katalambano is “to lay hold of so as to make one’s own; to take possession of; apprehend.”
Paul is praying that you and I would be able to lay hold of the vastness of God’s love. He goes on to say that this love is so vast, you cannot understand it in the natural; the greatness of God’s love is only understood with spiritual understanding. Have you ever thought about the expanse of the heavens. The heavens cannot even begin to contain God, and so the vastness of God’s love supersedes anything we even attempt to comprehend. As believers, no matter how much of the love of God we have experienced, there are still vast oceans deep of rich love divine. Launch out!
One of my other favorite Bible words is used here in the same text: “Ginosko.” Paul tells us we need to apprehend this great love and make it our own, and then we are to “know it by experience.” It is possible to have knowledge that something is true, but it is quite different to experience that truth. For example, Jonathan Edwards often used the analogy of knowing that honey is sweet, but when you taste and see—there’s a new depth to the sweetness of honey. We can know honey is sweet, but when you taste the sweetness for yourself, there is new depth to your understanding.
God has a reservoir of love that “passes knowledge.” It exceeds and excels beyond anything we can begin to think or imagine. Today, He calls us to make every effort to passionately pursue and enjoy this eternal supply of love. Discovering your pleasures in the oceans deep of His love will satisfy you more fully and deeply than any earthly treasure, and yet will leave you longing for more of Him.
It has been said and sung, but how true these words are:
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
The love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong. It shall forevermore endure the saints and angels song.