John Calvin on the Gospel Logic of Ethnic/Racial Unity

In Ephesians 2:14, Paul writes, “For [Jesus Christ] is our peace, who has made us both one…” The “both” in this verse is a reference to Jew and Gentile. These two groups were opposed to one another, with the Jews in particular viewing the Gentiles with prideful superiority. Yet in the gospel of Jesus Christ, these ethnic and cultural divisions are broken down, and unity is created by and in Him. John Calvin helpfully and succinctly summarizes the pride of the Jews and the way the gospel of Jesus breaks this pride and unites a fractured relationship:

The Jews, puffed up with the privilege which God had conferred upon them, reckoned the Gentiles to be unworthy of being admitted to any intercourse whatever. To subdue this pride, [Paul] tells them that they and the Gentiles have been united into one body. Put all these things together, and you will frame the following syllogism: If the Jews wish to enjoy peace with God, they must have Christ as their Mediator. But Christ will not be their peace in any other way than by making them one body with the Gentiles. Therefore, unless the Jews admit the Gentiles to fellowship with them, they have no friendship with God. (Commentary on Ephesians 2:14)

May the Lord by His gospel cause us to live out the oneness that the cross of Christ has created across every racial, cultural, and economic barrier we erect between ourselves and other Christians.