18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—
Some manuscripts begin with a phrase that is not found in the translation I am using—“may have strength.” The Greek word for “have strength” means to have inherent strength.
may be able to comprehend
The prayer here is for the immensity of understanding, not the thoroughness of comprehension, of the fullness of God (3:19).
“Able” in the Greek is stronger than in the English, carrying the idea of eminently able or to have full strength.
“Comprehend” in the Greek conveys the idea of apprehend. The idea of “understand” is not strong enough. We are to seize or take possession of what God wants for us.
with all the saints
Every Christian is to comprehend the nature of God’s love for us. It is available not only for special classes of Christians but for each and every believer.
what is the width and length and depth and height—
With this phrase we have the scope of God’s love for us. “Width” is the comprehensiveness of God’s love expressed in the mystery of the church. “Length” is the length of time throughout the ages His love extends. “Depth” represents how far God will go with His love. “Height” indicates the reach of His love extends to heaven.
Comprehension of God’s love originates in consistent application of God’s Word to experience.
God’s Word is essential for us to comprehend God’s nature, especially His love. We need to say with Job in the Old Testament, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). In other words, we cannot look on the Word of God as something trivial for our lives. We must baptize our minds with it.