JOHN 14:27: “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What do you want for Christmas? I love it when a child is asked this question, and they reply – “What I want for Christmas is world peace!” I never know if this is a really sincere answer that is resonate in their hearts, or a prepared answer prompted by their parents. Regardless of the impetus behind the statement, I do believe it is a statement we all resonate with. We all desire peace – personally, relationally, and corporately.
Desiring peace comes directly from the heart of God. When the angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, they proclaimed,
- “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those who have his good will!” Luke 2:14 GW
Isaiah wrote prophetically when he penned these words,
- “A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 GW
And Jesus taught us in His Sermon on the Mount,
- “Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God’s children.” Matthew 5:9 GW
So it is clear that peace, making peace, desiring peace – is in the heart of God. Jesus came to reveal the Father to us, and in this verse from the Gospel of John, He reveals the very source of true peace. Jesus said, “I’m leaving you peace, I’m giving you peace…”. True peace comes only from the Prince of Peace Himself! But how does it come? Does it originate from a change in the circumstances and world in which we live, or does it come in a different way?
True peace, the peace of Christ, comes only through the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said – “I am leaving you peace…”. Take this statement and put it right alongside what He had just told His disciples.
- “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you all alone. I will come back to you.” John 14:15-18 GW
Jesus assured His disciples (and us) that they would not be alone! When Jesus returned to the Father, He would send the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to each one who believes. The Kingdom of God would be established in the hearts of everyone who loves God, who walks according to His commands – by grace, through faith. And wherever the King is – their is peace! It is not a peace that we establish. It is a peace that is established in us. Paul writes concerning this great peace in his first epistle to the Corinthians.
- “But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. So he is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart.” Ephesians 2:13-14 GW
Only this new Kingdom, only this new King, living in the hearts of those who believe, can give the capacity to experience and live in peace – both within and without. Only those who have met the Prince of Peace can truly be God’s peacemakers!
Lord, thank you for the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ! Jesus, thank you for the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit, thank you for establishing the Kingdom of God within my heart – and bringing me His perfect peace! Lord, by Your grace, help me to live in Your peace – and to share the wonder of Your peace to all this Christmas season. Open up eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive – Your perfect peace – through Jesus Christ the Lord!
In Jesus Name!