Be it near or far, the influence should be the same

“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”
(Ephesians 2:17 )

On many occasions I have been grateful for the insight that The Message gives me for scripture passages. In that translation this verse is written as “Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders.” I am assuming that the writer of Ephesians is referring to Jews and Gentiles. The implication is that both groups are equally addressed and exhorted. Verse eighteen confirms this when it says “He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.”

While implication is that the separation and difference is by culture and faith background, it could just as well be difference of time and place with writer of Ephesians being near and we who are separated by time and place being far. But the message is the same, peace. We should not allow the message of peace to be diluted by the fact that it is coming to us from far away.

In this day and age we are “preached” at a great deal; buy this and not that, believe this and not that, vote for this person and not that. If preaching could be equated with advertising, we are preached at night and day, relentlessly. And this analogy is not such a far stretch, because advertising affects us and influences us in hundreds of seen and unseen ways. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat to what we drive and myriads of other details of life.

I suggest we allow ourselves to be influenced by the preaching of the one who came as much or more than the voices in society today. Because Christ came not just to preach to us, but to die for us. No one has ever done more to get the message across. And it should not be ignored. May you gentle reader heed the message that comes from our Savior and Redeemer. Selah!