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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2000

Jesus Tears Down a Wall

Sometimes walls exist that no one can see or touch, but that everyone knows are there. These walls often separate one group of people from another group of people. Sometimes they separate popular people from unpopular people. Other times they separate rich people from poor people, or one race of people from another race of people.

The Jews were God’s chosen people in the Old Testament. Everybody who was not a Jew was a Gentile, and therefore was not a member of the chosen race of Israel. The Jews were supposed to be good examples to the Gentiles so that the Gentiles would want to serve God. But instead of being the examples they were supposed to be, the Jews began to look down on everyone who was not a Jew. They began to think that they were better than everyone else in the world because they were the chosen people of God. In so doing, they built a huge "wall" between themselves and the rest of the world.

God never wanted them to look down on other people. He wanted them to show the world how to do the right thing, but they weren’t doing that. Therefore, God enacted a plan He had made before the foundation of the world. He sent His Son Jesus to choose a new group of people. This new group would not be separated by nationality, skin color, race, or gender, because God would include anyone who was willing to obey Jesus. In the book of Acts, we see both Jews and Gentiles obeying Christ’s commands and being placed into His new group of chosen people called the church: "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). By allowing all people to become members of His church, Christ destroyed a wall that was bigger than the Great Wall of China. Paul explains to us in Ephesians 2:14 how Jesus broke down the middle wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles.

Paul made it very clear that the Jews no longer are the only chosen people of God when he said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). Jesus Christ tore down the wall between the Jews and the Gentiles, and built a church for all people that will last forever (read Matthew 16:18).

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