9 April 2021
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
These are the words Jesus gave to His disciples prior to going to the cross. Earlier in the chapter, He also said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)
After His resurrection, Jesus greeted His disciples twice with “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19,21); this probably is more than a mere greeting – it is repeated to emphasise the importance of this communication to His believers.
Notice that with the peace of Jesus given to us, we need not be troubled or afraid; note also that this peace is directly related to belief in God and Him. It is essentially experienced and received by faith in the triune God.
The word ‘peace’ (Hebrew shalom; Greek eirene) refers and emcompasses total well-being and happiness. It means to start with peace with God, sin forgiven, guilt gone, your very person accepted by Him. It also means peace with yourself; if God has forgiven you the terrible things you have done, you must learn to be at peace with yourself now that you are at peace with God. It means also peace with your circumstances too (whatever they may be); if the Lord God of circumstances is at peace with you, you can henceforth be sure He controls and orders circumstances for your good (because He loves you and even though the circumstances do not appear to be under control). Remember God works in mysterious ways and often silently without obvious manifestations, but belief in Him must include trust in Him even though the ‘storms’ are still raging.Trust in His being and His promises – God never fails!
Recognise that this is not the peace given by the world; it is not a superficial peace that has to do with situations which the world gives (like financial security, positive relationships with others, good health etc.) which may change very suddenly and unexpectedly. The peace referred to here is the peace of the Lord Jesus, a peace that endures and remains even through His crucifixion and suffering, a peace that rests in His Father and that does not succumb to the ‘attacks’ of evil men and the evil one, a peace that overwhelms all odds and all circumstances which vigorously seek to remove it. This is the peace, the shalom, that Jesus gives to you and me if only we believe, and if only we continue to believe in HIm and rest in HIs goodness, love and perfection. SHALOM!