I had a thought today, that I would add the word “both” in a few places to Ephesians chapters 1 & 2 to make it a little more clear, and to add in parenthesis (Israel or Judah) to make it sound as though it is the older brother writing to the prodigal son after the older brother got the chip off his shoulder and understood why the father was so quick to bring the prodigal son back in. Israel (the house of Israel, not the state) is the name of the northern kingdom that was dispersed. We are either the lost sheep of the house of Israel or we are sojourners of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Otherwise, Jesus didn’t come for us (those are His words, not mine, Mathew 15:24).
Let us first read the parable of 2 sons:
Lu 15:11 ¶ And he said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Wow, how amazing to see that yes, we realize that we are the prodigal son. But we don’t realize who these brothers are. They are Ephraim and Judah. Or you might also think of them as Judah and Joseph (go back and study the story of Joseph and Judah) or even Joseph and Benjamin (Rebekah’s 2 sons, see Mt 2:18 and Jeremiah 31:15). These are pictures of the 2 brothers; the 2 houses that are prophesied to become one. They are prophetically the 2 that are to become one new man; the houses of Israel and Judah becoming one house of Israel.
Notice that the younger son was (as) dead; Ezekiel 37 and the dry bones may come to mind. He was lost (as was Joseph, as were we once as the house of Israel).
Let’s read Paul’s letter with clarification added:
Eph 1:1 ¶ Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us both with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us both in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us both unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us both accepted in the beloved. In whom we both have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us both in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us both the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we both have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we (Jews) should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye (Israel) also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of both our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you (Israel), making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling (of the lost sheep), and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who both believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Eph 2:1 ¶ And you (Israel), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked ccording to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us both, Even when we were both dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us both up together, and made us both sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (Israel) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we both are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we both should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (both houses), and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye (Israel) who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is both our peace, who hath made both (houses/ brothers) one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (ordinances that were nailed to the cross); for to make in himself of twain (2 men) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (Israel), and to them that were nigh (Judah). For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners (Israel), but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the (whole) household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together (one house) for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Amazing to see these passages together. We see that the younger brother squandered all his inheritance and came back. When we come back as “prodigal” children (house of Israel) our inheritance is squandered. Those who have kept Torah for 2000 years did not squander it although some did. TRUE Torah-observant Jews (house of Judah) have continued to keep the oracles of God. They didn’t squander their inheritance. We see in verse 1:11 of Ephesians that our inheritance comes from Yeshua (Jesus).