Crossroads: Jesus Came for Everyone

Ephesians 2:11-22

Your Story

Talk about a time when you or someone you know was made fun of for being different. Alternatively, talk about a time when you discovered some similarities with someone who at first seemed very different from you. What did you discover? How did it change your perception of that person?

My Story and the Bible Story

When I was a teenager, my family sometimes hosted French exchange students in our home. There were times when students from a school in France would come to the United States and stop in Georgia. They would stay for a few days and then move on to another place. I was learning to speak French, but it was still difficult to talk to our guests. We had to work hard to understand each other and to be understood. We seemed very different from each other. But as we slowly started talking, we discovered ways we were similar. We liked spending time with our families. We liked to read. We found out that we weren’t as different as we seemed.

It’s easy to look for the ways others are different from us. Maybe someone dresses differently, talks differently, or acts differently than we do. Maybe someone has different opinions than we do. Maybe they have a different hair color or skin tone or eye color. Whatever it is, it’s easy to look for the ways we are different. The Jews and Gentiles in the Bible were the same way. Before Jesus came, the Jews believed that God was their God and they were God’s people, and they thought no one else had access. But Jesus made it possible for the Gentiles to come to God too.

Read Ephesians 2:11-22.

To the Jews, the Gentiles must have seemed very different. They dressed differently, spoke differently, and believed different things. There were centuries of disagreements between the Jews and the Gentiles. But Jesus came so that everyone could have access to God. In Ephesians, Paul reminds everyone that Jesus came for all, for Jew and for Gentile, and that God uses the Gentiles just like God uses the Jews. When it seems as if someone is so different from us that there’s no way God can love them, we should read this passage again. It tells us that God created each of us and loves us all. God got rid of what separated the Jews and the Gentiles, once and for all. Let’s remember that Jesus came for everyone.

Discussion and Prayer

1. Have your children talk about someone who seems very different from them. Ask what things they might have in common with this person.
2. Talk about ways we can look for similarities instead of differences.
3. How should we treat others whom God created? Let’s remember that God created everyone.
4. Pray, asking God for help in finding similarities with people we feel are different from us. Ask for help in showing others God’s love.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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