Luke 2:32 A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.

Few ethnic divisions have been more palpable than between first-century Jews and Gentiles. In many ways, this division represents the ultimate “us vs. them” mentality. The early church faced this controversy head-on, as we see in letters like Ephesians and Galatians, by insisting that in Jesus there is no longer “Jew or Greek” but “all are one.”

Careful observers of the early life of Jesus see this seismic move coming. The words of the prophet Simeon, spoken as Jesus is presented in the temple, are a proclamation of the gospel of ethnic inclusion. The Good News of God in Christ is not for the nations or for Israel; it is for both. The same Jesus, who was presented in the temple, has made a way for all people to find God—a light to enlighten the nations and the glory of Israel.

MOVING FORWARD: When have you seen an “us vs. them” mentality in your community? What did you/will you do about it?