July 2, 2018 • Life for Leaders
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
When you hear the word “peace,” what comes to mind? How would you define “peace”? You might think of the ceasing of conflict after war. Or you might remember times when your soul felt calm and secure. But I would imagine that you would probably not talk about peace as a person.
Unless you are deeply influenced by Ephesians 2:14. This verse begins with a bold proclamation: “For he himself is our peace.” In context, the “he” is Christ, whose blood brought the Gentiles near to God and God’s people (2:13).
What does it mean for Christ to be our peace? When we hear this, we may be inclined to think of “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, [guarding] your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:7). But, in fact, the peace of Ephesians 2:14 is not this kind of inner peace. When we read this verse in context, we see that peace has to do with ending the hostility between Jews and Gentiles and forging a new relationship of unity in Christ. Christ is our peace in the sense that he and he alone can mend the broken, hostile relationship between Jews and Gentiles, and, by implication, between all enemies.
If we want to be people of peace, if we desire to know the peace of God that passes understanding, if we want to be peacemakers in our part of the world, then we need Jesus Christ. Not only will he give us the gift of peace, but he will use us to share his peace with others.
Something to Think About:
As you think about your life, where do you see a need for the peace of Christ that erases hostility and brings people together in unity?
How might you be an agent of Christ’s peace in your relationships at work? At home? In your church? In your community and beyond?
Something to Do:
Ask the Lord where you might be an agent of his peace this week. As God guides you, be a peacemaker, whether at work or in your church, at home or in your community. Let Christ, who is our peace, make peace through you.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are our peace. In you, I experience inner peace that exceeds all understanding. Yet your peace touches more than my soul. You have come to bring peace among people, to erase hostility, to enable human beings to live together with love, justice, and fruitfulness. Thank you for the peace that you alone give. May I live today in your peace, seeking to be a peacemaker in all of my relationships. Bring peace to this broken world, Lord! Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Did Jesus Come to Bring Peace or Division?
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.