Skip to main content

Ephesians 2:14: The Dividing Wall of Hostility

Ephesians 2:14
[14] For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (ESV)

This verse speaks to the human condition so powerfully.  It seems that in every generation, and in every land, and in every people group there is some kind of dividing wall of hostility.  We reject people because of where they are from, or what color they are, or something that they have done.  This was very much the case at the time that Paul wrote these words to the Church at Ephesus.  The Jews not only viewed the Gentiles as "dogs," they also had a wall to separate them.

“In Herod’s Temple there was a wall which separated the Court of the Gentiles from the rest of the Temple, and on that wall were inscriptions in Latin and Greek forbidding Gentiles to enter.  Josephus spoke of these inscriptions, and in excavations made in 1871 and 1934 two of these inscriptions were found.  They read:  “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure.  Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”
- R. Kent Hughes. Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, page 92.

Do you catch the significance of what Christ has now done?  He has taken that dividing wall of hostility and destroyed it! He has made the two one.  Listen to how Paul describes the result of Jesus' destruction of the dividing wall of hostility to the Galatians:

Galatians 3:28–29
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (ESV)

Jesus Christ is all about destroying the wall of hostility. In his flesh he has knocked that wall down.  Sadly, there are too many people who have tried to build it back up.  If we call ourselves Christians we cannot be in the business of rebuilding walls of hostility.  To be Christ-like means to do what he would do.  He destroys walls of hostility.

Do you recognize any walls of hostility in the world that you live in?  What are you doing to tear them down? Let us celebrate what Christ has done by refusing to build any walls.