The Peace that Christ Brought (Part I)

You may recall that some time ago there was a bumper sticker which read, “Give peace a chance.” Not so very long ago a song entitled the same became quite popular. This sentiment was in reference to world peace. Peace has always been a noble goal among nations throughout the generations. There exits an honor of the highest degree given by man to those who have exhibited great effort go achieve this very end: it is called the Nobel peace prize. Even though many will never receive this honor, those who work toward peace between nations are held in high esteem, because the successful realization of that goal averts so much death and suffering. When that peace process is not successful the events which ensue are tragic, indeed. Witness the pain and suffering in Bosnia, South Africa, and Rwanda. As the song, “Give Peace a Chance,” brings to light, the concept of world peace is often in the forefront of our minds.

Other songs which express this thought have been written with the same theme; songs with lyrics such as “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me,” or that seasonal song that some may recognize, which states, “And mild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on Earth, good will toward man.” This particular song alludes to the peace of which the angels sang the night Jesus was brought into this world. The scriptures tell us it happened like this:

Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock, 9 And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people: 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.

Isaiah prophesied concerning this Savior, where he writes:

Isa. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The fact that Christ brought peace to this world is indisputable. He, himself said to his apostles

Jno. 16:33 These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

However, consider the thoughts expressed by those songs which speak of peace that came when Christ was born, that quiet night in the small town of Bethlehem: What is commonly thought that the nature of that peace is? Is it world peace? Or is it a different kind of peace other than what is typically pictured? Let us now delve into what the Holy Bible says regarding that peace which was brought by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Peace That Jesus Left

On that night in which Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord, in which he partook of his last supper before being crucified, Jesus told his disciples:

Jno. 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

The peace that he left with his disciples was “not as the world giveth.” It is different than the peace that the world gives. Jesus told the church in Smyrna, “. . .Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life,” (Rev. 2:10). Is there an consolation in knowing that if we are faithful to Christ, even to the point of death, that we will receive a crown of life? Is God faithful? Those Christians to whom Christ spoke were about to be severely persecuted; thrown into prison because of their belief in him. Regardless of what the world may do to us, we still have that promise of eternal life: and regardless of what the world did to the Apostles, they had peace in the knowledge that they, too, would receive their reward of eternal life.

The Peace That Jesus did Not Bring

The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus did not come to bring world peace between nations. When Jesus was telling his disciples of the signs that would precede the destruction of the temple, and of Jerusalem, he said:

Matt. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet.

He knew that war would continue just as it has for thousands of years. Nothing has changed in that respect in all of this time. Certainly Christ could not have brought world peace in that sense, because he knew that wars and rumors of wars would continue.

Jesus distinctly refutes the very notion that he came to bring world peace (in the manner we typically think of peace).

Matt. 10:34 Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against here mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: 36 and a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Did he mean to break up a household, and cause rebellion? Did not God command them to, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee,” (Exo. 20:12)? Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus:

Eph. 5:33 Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband. 4:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.

To be continued.
Curtis A. Little, Royse City, TX

*All Bible quotations are from the American Standard Version of 1901, unless otherwise noted.

Curtis A. Little
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