Ninth Sunday After Pentecost | July 22, 2018
2 Samuel 7:1-14a and Psalm 89:20-37 • Ephesians 2:11-22 • Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
14 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. 15 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. 16 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.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:11-22 New Living Translation (NLT)
This scripture is full of wisdom. I would encourage you to read it and read it again. It is a reminder that Christ came to save all – both Jew and Gentile. Interestingly enough, Gentiles were thought to be, in Paul’s words, “uncircumcised heathens.” The Jews were proud that they were the chosen ones. Gentiles were outsiders. BUT, because of Jesus Christ, the Gentiles have been united with Christ. This is good news! Jesus Christ came to bring us peace with God through His blood. One time we were far away from God, but now he has drawn us near to Him.
Christ brought peace and united the Jews and the Gentiles through the cross. I love verse 19:
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.