“And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch……….” John 10:22
“and He sat down and he taught them………” John 8:2
“He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.” Mark 4:38
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…..” John 14:27
We sigh. The world sighs. In a major US city, 40 people are shot over one weekend. In another part of the world mass graves are found where men and boys are massacred and Christians are told to convert, leave, pay a fine or die. A civilian plane is shot out of the sky. Hundreds of young women are kidnapped at night, threatened to be sold as slaves just because they were trying to get an education. Unfortunately, tragically I could go on and on. The world desperately cries out for peace yet finds it lacking at every turn. So where is one to turn for peace?
It is my hope that the brief snippets of scripture that I pulled out might portray a picture. I man walking, a man sitting, a man asleep on a pillow. A man at peace. The man is Jesus. And the man is very much at peace.
So let’s look at this like the world might look at it. Why might someone feel at peace? Well maybe that person is physically at a place of tranquility far from any danger or harm. Perhaps, but in Jesus case, in all three, he is about to be in grave peril. In the first two, Jesus is being confronted by crowds and Jewish leaders about His teachings. At the end of both these episodes, the crowds will try to stone Jesus to death. In the last example where Jesus is asleep, a storm is lashing at the boat threatening to drown them all. Okay well maybe the person is just ignorant of the of impending doom he is facing. Again maybe for us, but not in Jesus case. Remember how he could see into the hearts and intentions of those around Him. Jesus Christ also knew the future. He knew that the crowd wanted to kill him. He knew a storm was brewing. Okay, maybe they’re a thrill seeker looking to put themselves at the greatest risk for kicks. Did Jesus not refuse to jump off the temple when tempted by Satan because He said we should not tempt God? Or maybe, they’ve given up. They’re suicidal and figure to just get it over with. The outcomes really don’t support that. Jesus walks right through the crowd. Jesus calms the storm.
So how can Jesus be so calm; so at peace? Jesus knows who He is; whose He is; and the Power of Him who sent Jesus. Jesus is the Christ; the One True Son of God. God in Spirit, man in flesh. No worldly thing can bring Him harm unless He wills it to be.
Well that’s great for Jesus Christ but my spirit is not God’s Spirit. I am flesh, imperfect, with little personal power against the power of the world. True. And if we were left to our own devices we would only be fooling ourselves if we felt an ounce of peace. Yet we are not left to our own devices. Jesus steps in. He gives us a gift. He gives us His Peace. A Peace that truly surpasses all understanding. A Peace that completely overcomes the perils of this world and turns dangers and tragedies into triumphs. A Peace once accepted that can have Paul calmly proclaim: “For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (he would not die there by the way). Or for Peter to say: “but rejoice to the extent that you partake in Christ’s sufferings that when His Glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy”.
Dear brothers and sisters, the prince of this world longs to keep us in turmoil and strives to extinguish any semblance of peace we may have. How blessed we are to have Our Heavenly Father, Creator God, who sent His only Son to give us what we can never obtain on our own; peace. And it is important to note how His Peace is obtained. In the process of this world, and the gods of this world; we would have an enormous price to pay to acquire this kind of peace. And that payment would be required first. Yet the Peace of Jesus Christ is a gift; freely given. Nothing is required up front except acceptance. In fact the price; a very high price indeed for that Peace has been paid in full; never to be billed again. That Peace was purchased by the sacrificial blood and body of Jesus Christ Himself.
So be careful for I know how much the world wants to sell its own peace to you and I. Self help books, medications, meditation, certain miracle foods, groups of every type and size; not to mention illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, and countless perversions all claim to bring about peace and harmony. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not against proper medical help for the body or mind nor am I saying that a good diet, reading or even meditation are wrong. What I want to stress is that no lasting, no true peace comes unless it is the Peace that comes from Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father’s Power manifested through His Son Jesus Christ and testified to us by the Holy Spirit is the only Peace that truly exists. And we must come to Christ, yes come, just as you and I are to Him, and He will gladly pour out His Peace upon us.
Our Most Graciously Heavenly Father, we cry out to You as we witness the strife, desolation, cruelty and death which this world so callously doles out upon itself. We come to You knowing that we are unable to find peace and joy by our own devices. We pray for the gift of the Peace of Jesus Christ. Forgive us when we turn to worldly pursuits in attempts to find fleeting peace. Testify to us through the Holy Spirit that there is only one place, one person from whom we can obtain a lasting, perfect peace. That place is Your Kingdom and that person is Your Son, Jesus Christ. All praise, honor and glory be to You, through Your Son Jesus Christ. We pray in His Most Holy Name. Amen