Ephesians 2:14 For He himself is our peace…

Our scripture focus for this weekend comes to us through the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus, chapter 2, verses 11-22.   We will go to his letter and this section of it in just a few moments.  Let me pose a question before we read together: Surely a sermon titled “Jesus Is Our Peace” will perk our ears in the hope of hearing some encouragement to counter all the division and polarization we see in our world today!  Can the statement soften the deeply held loyalties and differences that divide us?  Perhaps the mere announcement that “Jesus is our peace” will help pacify and alleviate the hostility built up between people. But if that is what we hope this passage will do, we might need to choose another passage to read.

Why?  At first glance when we read Paul’s announcement, “Jesus is our peace” it may escape our attention that in Paul’s context he has made one of the most politically charged statements anyone could make! For the church in Ephesus, the tension in Paul’s letter would not have gone unnoticed.  In fact, instead of alleviating tension, it probably raised it!  If you were living in Asia Minor during Paul’s day you would be living under the iron fist of Rome’s rule. More to the point, you would be very familiar with phrases and terminology that would be considered “fighting words.”