In Ephesians 2:11–18, the apostle Paul explained part of Christ’s mission of peace, specifically, to reconcile and bind Jews and Gentiles into one people, one united community of believers—the body of Christ. Jesus “Himself is our peace,” declared Paul (Ephesians 2:14, NKJV).
For centuries, the Jewish people looked down on the Gentiles. Because of their covenant relationship with God, Jews considered themselves superior to Gentiles, an attitude that drove a deep-seated wedge of hostility between the two groups. But Jesus Christ settled the long-standing division and obliterated the distinction between Jew and Gentile.
Most of the Christians in the Ephesian church were of Gentile background. Paul wrote to them, “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death” (Ephesians 2:14–16, NLT).
In Christ, all people have the same spiritual standing: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Regardless of our race, gender, or nationality, we are all saved the same way, and, once saved, we are “fellow citizens” and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19). Together in Jesus Christ, “the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21).
Jesus Himself is our peace means that, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, God made it possible for all people to live at peace with one another. It also means that humans can be reconciled to God and experience peace with Him: “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1, NLT). The person and work of Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate provision of peace for humanity.
Before salvation, sin separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 4:18). But when Jesus died, He paid the full penalty for our sins. He was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him” (Isaiah 53:5; see also Colossians 1:20). Only through a relationship with the risen Christ can peace with God be achieved and maintained.
Jesus Himself is our peace means His presence is our source of peace. Paul called Jesus “the Lord of peace” who gives “peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). The Lord told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
The prophets foretold that Christ would come as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) who would “proclaim peace to the nations” (Zechariah 9:10). Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and preached “peace to you who were far away [the Gentiles] and peace to those who were near [the Jews]” (Ephesians 2:17). At the time of Christ’s birth, the angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
Jesus Himself is our peace. In Him, we have “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). Jesus came to bring peace on earth and called His followers to continue His mission (Matthew 5:9). We do this by sharing the gospel—“the good news of peace through Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:36)—and by living in peace with one another (Romans 12:18; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14). Because Jesus Himself is our peace, we can enjoy harmony and wholeness in our relationship with God and others.