11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 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, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
It’s important to remember where we came from.
Throughout the Old Testament God often reminds His people how he brought them out of slavery in Egypt. It gives significance to the journey God took them on and the place that he had brought them to.
Paul reminds the Gentiles in Ephesus where they had come from. Once they were separated from God but now Jesus has brought them near. Once they were separated from God’s people but now they are fully His people. Once there was hostility between them and the Jews but now Jesus has brought peace. Understanding where they had come from helps them understand the importance of becoming one people, and to value it. That they needed reminding may indicate it was a journey for them too, and they still had a bit of a way to go.
I’ve been on my journey with God for a while now. And no, we’re not there yet. It can be discouraging to see how far away I still am from what wants me to be. When I look back at how far he has already brought me, it helps me to see where I am with new perspective: to appreciate what I have and what He has done so far, and to be encouraged again for the journey that still lies ahead.
I’m so glad it’s His journey I’m on.
Written by David Cornell