23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (John 12:20-23)
Philip and Andrew had just brought word to Jesus that certain Greeks or Gentiles were seeking Him at the feast. He had ministered to other Gentiles, but this is the first time that the Gentiles came specifically to seek Him instead of what He could do. Apparently, this was an added signal to Jesus that His time had come and He could no longer confine His ministry to the Jews. Therefore, He made statements about His death and glorification that would break down the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile.
There was a physical wall of partition that symbolized this division in the Jerusalem Temple. The Gentiles could come into a designated area of the Temple known as the Court of the Gentiles, but a stone wall, about five-feet high, stopped them from going farther. A sign standing before the wall stated, “No man of another nation is to enter, and whosoever is caught will have himself to blame for his death!”
Many regulations and rules separated Jews and Gentiles for centuries, but Christ’s work on the Cross abolished that barrier by removing the Law. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace.” (Eph. 2:14-15 NIV).
In the New Testament church, “We are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). The world tries to bring people together in all kinds of ways, but only Jesus destroyed that barrier and made people one through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Today you can celebrate the fact that you are a part of the body of Christ, the “one new man,” made up of all kinds of people through centuries of time.