DAILY DEVOTIONAL, SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 2023

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Reconciled to God through Christ

Ephesians 2:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;

This verse explains that Jesus preached peace to both Jews and Gentiles, who were previously separated and hostile towards each other. The phrase “you who were far away” likely refers to Gentiles, who were considered to be outside of God’s covenant and separated from His people, while the phrase “those who were near” likely refers to Jews, who were considered to be part of God’s covenant and His people.

This verse emphasizes the fact that through His death and resurrection, Jesus reconciled Jews and Gentiles and brought them together as one people. It is through His message of peace that this reconciliation was made possible, and it is a message that is available to all people, both Jews, and Gentiles.

Overall, this verse is a reminder of the reconciling work of Jesus and the fact that it is through His message of peace that we are able to be reconciled to God and brought together as one people. It is a reminder of the grace and love of God towards all people and the fact that through faith in Jesus, we can experience this reconciliation and peace.

And he came – refers to Jesus Christ coming to Earth to bring the message of salvation.

Preached peace – refers to the reconciliation of humanity to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

To you who were far off – refers to the Gentiles, who were previously excluded from the promises of God.

And peace to those who were near – refers to the Jews, who had a special relationship with God but were also in need of reconciliation.

Historical and Cultural Context

Ephesians 2:17 is a key verse in the book of Ephesians, which was likely written by the apostle Paul to a primarily Gentile audience in the city of Ephesus. In this verse, Paul emphasizes the unity that has been brought about in Christ between Jews and Gentiles.

In the historical and cultural context of the time, there was a significant divide between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, who had a special relationship with God through their covenant with him, often looked down on Gentiles as “outsiders” and “unclean.” However, in Christ, this divide has been overcome, and both Jews and Gentiles have access to God through faith in Jesus.

The phrase “preached peace” is significant as well, as it implies that there was a state of hostility or enmity between Jews and Gentiles prior to the coming of Christ. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus brought about reconciliation between humanity and God and also between different groups of people.

In this verse, the phrase “to you who were far off” likely refers to the Gentiles, while “peace to those who were near” likely refers to the Jews. This imagery of being “far off” or “near” is used throughout the New Testament to refer to one’s spiritual distance from God, and Paul emphasizes that in Christ, this distance has been bridged for both groups.

Overall, Ephesians 2:17 is a powerful reminder of the unity and reconciliation that is available to all people through faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of their background or ethnicity.

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