“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14)
When Paul calls Jesus “our peace,” he refers to the end of hostility between Jews and gentiles. God’s chosen people Israel were distinct from the nations and enjoyed certain privileges. For example, while gentiles were allowed to worship at the Jerusalem temple, a dividing wall restricted them to the outer court on punishment of dath. Jews regarded gentiles unclean, and they experienced mutual hostility. But now, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection for all, both Jew and gentile can worship God freely through faith in Him. There’s no dividing wall. There’s no privilege of one group over the other. Both are equal in their standing before God.
Jesus makes peace and reconciliation possible for all who believe in Him through His death and resurrection. So, if Jesus sis our peace, let’s not let our differences divide us. He’s made us one by His blood.
- How do you reveal you’re at peace with all people?
- What issues like race, status, or privilege sometimes get in the way? Why?
Dear God of peace, You’ve made us one in Jesus. Help us to know it and live it.
Ephesians 2: 11-22
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision”, which is done in the body by human hands, remember that at that time you were separate the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
In his letter to followers of Jesus in Ephesus, Paul addresses the relationship between Jews and gentiles. While this topic is mentioned in a number of Paul’s New Testament letters, Ephesians 2 deals most explicitly with the topic. He references the hostility the two groups had for each other and what Christ did to eliminate it. In His death, Jesus set aside the law and made one people out of the two by giving them both the same access to the Father. What we have in common supersedes our differences.