Ephesians 2:14-18 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.
For He Himself is our Peace
In the verses above, we hear about how Jesus came and broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles. The Law was set aside so that all could have the inheritance of eternal life. He created a new humanity that he reconciled through dying on the cross. That’s how He put to death their hostility. And now we have access to the Father by one Spirit.
This is a beautiful section of scripture that really points out the trinity (God is three in one – Not Three Gods – One God with three persons). All of the persons of God are present in this scripture, Jesus, God the Father and the Spirit.
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
Jesus came to bring the Jews (the religious people of the day) together with those who had been worshiping other gods or no gods at all. Jesus came and went far and wide to spread the grace of His Gospel. He didn’t hold it back from anyone. Some people didn’t believe, but that wasn’t because He didn’t tell them.
God is our Peace
Normally I think of peace as a spiritual state of being. Something we feel or don’t feel. In these verses in Ephesians, it is an interesting look at the fact that Jesus brought peace through reconciliation. He reconciled all people Jews and Gentiles by dying on the cross. He made amends. He worked peace, bringing people back together. Not just the peace in your heart, but the getting along with your neighbor kind of peace.
Every Conflict is an opportunity to witness
I went to a Women’s Leadership Institute conference a few months ago and one of the things I think about almost daily since I went is the idea of reconciliation. The last speaker of the conference was from the Ambassadors of reconciliation. One of the things the gentleman said that will likely stick with me for a long time (yes there is more than one) is that for Christians, every conflict is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to witness for Christ. To react as Christ would react, not as the world would react. In the verses above we get a sense of what that reaction might look like. It is a reaction of peace; bringing people together not pushing them apart.
How we respond says a lot about our God
Could you be like Gladys Staines? Gladys Staines had not heard from her husband, Graham, a respected missionary, or their two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6. They were at a religious retreat in a village four hours away. Had they been the ones killed by an anti-Christian mob, the ones burned beyond recognition in a jeep. She forgave the killers their deeds.
Could you be like the Amish in Pennsylvania? When their children were shot and killed by their milk delivery man, how did they respond? They responded with forgiveness. The media went crazy. Forgiveness in these difficult times points people to Christ. They wonder why and how Christians can forgive, and in these verses we see it is because that’s what Jesus does, he brings peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding.
What do you do when someone does something bad to you?