Jeremy Sarber

He came and preached peace

Bob Dylan says, Everything is broken.” The apostle Paul concurs, but he also adds a solution. The solution is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He says, Jesus came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near (Eph 2:17). In short, Christ has preached peace to everyone.

Preached is translated from the same Greek word from which we get evangelize. Put another way, Christ evangelized peace. Do you remember what the angels shouted at his birth? Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2:14). Jesus not only proclaims peace, but he also brings peace. He accomplishes it. He procures it. He secures it.

Jesus is the very embodiment of peace. He is our only source of true peace—that is, peace with God and peace with fellow believers of every background and culture. On the night before his arrest, Jesus told his disciples, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27). He also said, In me you may have peace” (Jn 16:33).

For through him we both Jews and Gentiles have access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph 2:18). The entire Trinity is involved in what is more than a judicial experience; it’s a personal, intimate one.

The Spirit, in particular, serves as the King’s— I can’t remember what the position is called. He’s the one who grants us access to the King. He summons us into the King’s chamber. According to Romans 8, the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Ro 8:16). The book of Hebrews says, Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace (Heb 4:16).

This word access in Ephesians 2:18 is a word that is used only three times in the New Testament. In each case, Paul is referring to the believer’s access to God the Father. For instance, in Ephesians 3, he writes, This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him (Eph 3:11, 12).