Ephesians 2:14-16 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
We have walls around us in our society, not physical walls so much, as walls that separate us and divide us as people. Walls can be based on ethnic backgrounds, education, economic status, politics, religion, and any other thing people can disagree on. We have let the divisions overwhelm us – breaking down families, friends, and communities. Christ calls us to be in unity of Spirit as Christians. For this to happen, we must break down the walls that divide us. Where can we find common ground and break down walls? In our passage Eph. 2:14, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” It is Jesus that breaks down the walls and barriers.
We can’t do this under our own power – this passage even says “our flesh” can’t break down barriers. It is only Jesus that can break down the barriers. We can try, but we will fail. When we submit our lives to Jesus and seek His way and not ours, walls will fall – we will stop seeing people as “others” and start seeing people as the children of God they were created to be, even if there are disagreements. As we dive deeper into neighborliness, we start seeing people as fellow travelers and less as projects to be fixed. We will see them more as people on a journey, and that we can work together to help raise up all and solve the problems and issues that divide us.
Ultimately in Eph. 2:15, it is through him that one new humanity is created and divisions are erased, thus making peace. God’s peace is not just the absence of conflict, but it is the biblical principle of completeness, of having enough. It is only through the reconciliation power of Jesus that this can happen.
Lord help me to submit to you daily in prayer, scripture, worship and community. It is only through this submission that my will be broken and I will see others as fellow children. Help me bring Jesus into every conversation, every meeting and every decision I make as I seek to know my neighbor.