Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
We are called to be peacemakers and the greatest possible example that we could have is Jesus Himself. He is the great peacemaker. In our reading today, we see that Christ is our peace [v14], He made peace [v15], and He preached peace [v17]. The words “made peace” in Greek mean, “to create peace”. The Greek word for peace comes from the root word ‘eiro’ and has the meaning, “one, peace, quietness, rest + set at one again” [Strongs].
The peace that Jesus brings is set against the backcloth of the words “enmity” [v15], “separation” [v14], and “reconciliation” [v16]. Jesus reconciled two parties who were at enmity and separated from each other, and made them to be at peace with each other. The words to reconcile mean, “to bring together again.”
There is two-fold enmity in this passage; firstly between Jew and Gentile [v13-15], and then between God and sinful man. Sin not only separates people from God but it also divides people from each other. Adam and Eve sinned and were separated from God. Their sons were separated from each other and Cain killed Abel.
The wall that separated the Jews and Gentiles was the Law. The Law made a clear distinction between them, and it was necessary for the wall to be pulled down for reconciliation to be effected [v14]. The wall was broken down when Jesus died on the cross. The price of this reconciliation was the blood of Jesus. He fulfilled the righteous demands of the law and removed the barrier that separated Jew from Gentile. Now there is no difference between them [Romans 10:12-13], and both are saved in the same way, by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ.
We see in the life and ministry of Jesus that the principle of peace making is to bring reconciliation and unity between two or more parties that are in conflict. Jesus has broken down the wall that separated Jew and Gentile, and also made it possible for sinful men to be reconciled to God and that never needs to be repeated. The responsibility given to us today is now to help people enter in to a relationship with God and for people to be reconciled to each other. This is what the peacemaker does!
Read James 4:1-10. What are the main reasons why conflicts exist and escalate between people?
Read James 4:13-18. What are the types of wisdom that James writes about?
What is the answer to envy and selfish ambition? What are the characteristics of heavenly wisdom?