Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. At his birth the Angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14). Yet, when he was born where was the peace?
– Mary was a teenager curious and confused.
- She dreamed of an ideal wedding without controversy
- She worried whether Joseph would believe her
- She rode 70 miles on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem
- She gave birth in a stable, placed child in animal feeding trough (manger) – and without an epidural 🙂
– Joseph was a husband upset and uncertain.
- Joseph dreamed of an ideal marriage without suspicion
- Joseph worried about transporting Mary 70 miles without accommodation reservations!
YET – in all of this there was PEACE.
“Mary treasured up all these things pondering them in her heart” Luke 2:19
“And [Jesus’] father and mother marveled at what was said about him.” Luke 2:33
ISAIAH 9:1-6 Jesus is Prince of Peace series “A Child With 4 Names”
When we look at the world around us it is not filled with peace and not unlike Isaiah’s day. There is global war, global recession, global issues on variety of scales. Uncertain times have brought uncertain tensions, transitions and troubles.
– There were people in Isaiah’s day claiming “Peace, peace, where there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).
– There are people today claiming “Peace”, “Freedom” and yet we are seeing very little of either.
- If you are a young person it would seem many fear or fret the future. Will they be able to afford college… find a job… purchase a house… support a family?
- If you are an older or retired person, there is anxiety and alarm over assets and resources.
SO, where is the peace that Jesus brings?
To understand this question you must understand the definition of peace. “Sar Shalom” is the phrase in Hebrew, where shalom is one of the most prominent theological themes throughout the OT. It means peace but it also means more than peace. It carries the idea of being whole, full harmony or completeness. In the NT it is additionally understood as a result of the gospel which brings confidence and union with God.
Therefore, peace is not just the absence of difficulty but the presence of divinity. It is recognizing that life is lonely and incomplete without being united to God. Only Jesus brings shalom – full healing and wholeness.
The problem comes when we seek escape rather than shalom. We avoid conflict and challenges and simply postpone the necessary issues. God does not avoid problems, he solves them. And the way he solves our problem of lacking peace is in giving us himself. God gives his Son to restore and renew our lives. Our lives are filled with darkness and depression but God brings light and joy.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” (John 8:12; 14:27)
Ephesians 2:14, “For [Christ] is our peace, [he] has made us one [with God]… And [Christ comes to preach] peace to you who [are] far…”
Colossians 1:20 “[Christ] makes peace by the blood of his cross.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
Through faith in Jesus, as Son of God and Son of Man dying for sin, we receive peace with God. Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus is the Sar Shalom – Prince of Peace.
Peace only comes because of a Mighty Warrior God. It wasn’t the absence of conflict but the power of Calvary! Jesus is the one who does battle against sin and he puts an end to the forces of evil, establishing his reign of peace forevermore (Isaiah 9:7).