Daily Devotional Ephesians 2:14–22
In Paul’s day, non-Jews who visited the Temple of Jerusalem were confined to the outermost section known as the Court of the Gentiles. A fence separated the Court of the Gentiles from the inner courts. A warning on it read: “No man of another race is to enter within the fence and enclosure around the Temple. Whoever is caught will have only himself to thank for the death which follows.”
He himself is our peace.
Paul seems to be alluding to this boundary in verse 14 when he says that Jesus “has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” It was not only ethnic prejudice that kept Gentiles from entering but also the barrier of God’s law. Yet even those who had received the law needed to be reconciled to God (v. 16). The spiritual wall not only set Jews apart from Gentiles but ultimately separated everyone from God.
Although the physical wall was still standing when the apostle wrote these words, the spiritual wall had been torn down by the death of Christ on the cross. By “setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations,” Jesus reconciled both groups to God. This made peace possible between Jews and Gentiles (v. 15). Because of what Christ has done, “both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (v. 18). The result is “one new humanity out of the two” where the distinctions between Jew and Gentile are no longer meaningful (v. 15).
For the Ephesians, this meant that they were no longer outsiders to God’s promises. Through faith, they have been drawn into God’s great building project. This new structure is “a holy temple” with the teaching of the apostles and prophets as its foundation and Jesus Christ as its cornerstone (vv. 20–21).
>> If you trust in Jesus Christ as your righteousness, you are inside the wall too! You are included in the promise of verse 22. If you do not trust in Him, the boundary still stands. Put your faith in Jesus today!
Pray with Us
Lord Jesus, we could not cross the barrier to You; thank You for crossing the barrier to us! Each day, may we more deeply and joyfully know You as our cornerstone—the solid ground on which we stand before You.