“Prince of Peace”
When prophesying the birth of Jesus, Isaiah said that He would be called “Prince of Peace.”
In two passages near the close of the Gospel of John, Jesus provides some indication of what it means for us to call Him “Prince of Peace.”
In John 14:27, while soldiers are on their way to arrest Jesus, He says to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.”
By identifying the peace He would give to us as “My peace,” Jesus indicates that the peace He gives is a peace that has to do with His own character. It is a peace that is intimately connected to Him.
Jesus’ peace is a peace that did not panic in the worst of circumstances. His peace allowed Him to sleep in a boat through a storm at sea while others on the boat fell to pieces. His peace kept Him calm and focused even while adversaries tried to catch Him in various traps. His peace kept Him treating others with compassion even amidst the agony of hanging on a cross.
For some of us, peace has to do with everything going our way. But that’s not the peace of Jesus. His peace is a peace that left the comfort of heaven to step into our world to minister to people—even to the point of giving His life for us.
For some of us, peace has to do with avoiding conflict. But Jesus’ peace was not a running-away-from-things kind of a peace. It was a peace that chased money-lenders from the temple and stood up to those who wanted to stone a woman. It is a peace that maintains conviction and compassion without inner turmoil.
In John 14:27, Jesus goes on to say, “I do not give to you as the world gives.”
By identifying His peace as a peace that does not come from this world, Jesus lets us know that His peace is not dependent on conditions of this world turning out pleasant. His peace come from a source that is above and beyond the limitations of this world. Therefore, it is peace we can experience even when conditions in our lives are a mess.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples following His resurrection, He said to them, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19, 21, & 26).
By announcing peace to be with them when He made His appearance among them, He lets us know that peace is not the absence of problems in our lives but the entrance of Jesus into our lives. Even as the disciples hid away in a locked room, afraid for their own lives, Jesus brought peace into their midst by putting Himself among them. Even amidst the struggles and problems of our lives, Jesus brings peace into our mess by bringing Himself into our midst.