Read Ephesians 2:13-22
Until Jesus came, God was only for the people of Israel. The Gentiles, or non-Jewish people, did not have access to God and could not be saved. On the other hand, Jews earned salvation by following a distinct list of Jewish laws. As a result, they had to try and live an entirely blameless life. As we all know, this is an impossible feat. But through Jesus’s death on the cross, He made it possible for both Jewish and Gentile sinners to be saved.
Additionally, the letter to the Ephesians shines a light on cultural issues of the time. Jews and Gentiles did not get along, as they were two distinctly different groups. When Jesus came, He gave these two groups something in common: salvation through faith. In one righteous and perfect act, Jesus “destroyed the barrier” between these two groups, making peace. As we know, though, just because something is true does not make it easy to live out. That reconciliation was not always easy, which is why Paul called them to higher living his letter. He reminded the people of Ephesus that Jesus’ death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice needed to fulfill the law, so neither Jew nor Gentile needed to earn salvation through their works or pit themselves against one another.
The same truth applies to us today. Our world is full of different people with who we may not always see eye-to-eye. But, whether we agree with someone or not, it is important to remember we both access the Father through the same Holy Spirit. We are all an important part of God’s household, bringing unique perspectives and wisdom, but the One holding us all together is Jesus. Without Jesus, we have no peace, unity or salvation. Thanks be to God!
God made peace between two hostile groups of people. What relationships in your life need peace? What action can you take today to initiate peace as you remember that they are God’s children too?
God, thank You that we are all Your children and that You unify us to be one people living for You. Help me see each person as someone Christ died for, remember Your sacrifice and recognize the peace it brings. Amen.
Allie is part of the O’Brien’s city group and is a volunteer with Scarlet City Kids.