It is the case that every Jew would have accepted the list that Paul has just given of their privileges. Yet at the end of that list he mentions another detail and this claim is one that most Jews would not accept – indeed they would have denied it fiercely. Yet for Paul, and he was a Jew, this eighth privilege was the crowning benefit that Israel enjoyed. The privilege was the arrival of the Messiah, and while Paul does not say here that he has Jesus in mind, we know that is who he meant.
Paul mentions three wonderful details about Jesus. First, he says that Jesus is a real man, born through a tribe and family in Israel. Of course, there are details about the humanity of Jesus that Paul does not mention here, such as the virgin birth. But he does stress that Jesus possessed a genuine humanity, a reminder that he became one of us.
Second, Paul states that Jesus is the eternal and sovereign God. The words ‘over all’ indicate that Jesus possesses everything that makes God to be God. Jesus has all the attributes, abilities and aims of God. Paul wants us to remember this whenever we think about Jesus. He is true God and real man, and that forever. Before the incarnation he had not been a man. Since the incarnation he is also a man forever as well as continuing to be divine.
Third, Jesus is blessed fully and endlessly. Paul here is expressing worship, but it is worship that is aware of the permanent person and status of Jesus. Wherever he will be and whatever he will do, he will do so as the one who enjoys supreme blessedness without diminution. We worship Jesus both for who he is as well as for what he has done and will yet do.
Paul here challenges us to speak about Jesus in such a way that listeners will sense that we think he is great beyond what words can say.