Friday, December, 22, 2017 | 4:59 PM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: Isaiah 9: 6 - 7
As I prepare to write this, I am a little amused. I really had not thought about until now, but – the last segment of our first class was on Peace. Obviously, this was a much shorter series; but five months later, we revisit peace as our topic. In my blog from July, I stated, “For me, peace simply abiding in Christ.” I stand by that and our verse today is one of the reasons. Isaiah prophesied the birth and the divinity of Jesus and addressed Him as “Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9: 6)
It’s interesting how our culture and history have distorted our sense of what peace is. The caricatures of the hippie and protest cultures made peace out to be something that it is not. The concept of peace being the absence of war is only partially correct. (We’re not going to get into the ‘Make Love Not War’ mantra … you don’t want to get me started on that.)
Jesus is The Prince of Peace – let’s look to Jesus’ life to correctly assess peace. As a young child of twelve, He displayed a sense of abiding peace when He told Mary and Joseph, “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2: 49 HCSB)
Later, during His ministry, He demonstrated how His peace could affect nature during a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 4: 35 – 41) Later, towards the end of His earthly ministry, He encouraged His disciples to live a peaceful life as they discussed the signs of the end of the age, the persecutions, the tribulation, the coming of the Son of Man (the entire 13th Chapter of Mark). What? What does that whole discourse have to do with Peace? This discourse is entirely about peace. Mark 13 is about living life in the center of the storm and the key to that is, “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows – neither the angels in heaven nor the Son – except the Father.” (Mark 13: 32 HCSB) Once we surrender that to God, peace is achievable.
His penultimate display of peace came as He stood before Pilate, “But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.” (Matthew 27:12-14 NLT) I believe that for Jesus, peace is abiding in the Father. When asked ‘which is the great commandment’ (Matthew 22: 38) Jesus replies that, ““‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT)
When the angelic host appeared before the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, they proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 14 KJV) So – give God the glory, abide in the Prince of Peace loving your neighbor as yourself. May the peace of a profound and personal relationship with Jesus Christ help you to discern and navigate this world; may His peace permeate all of your cares and concerns.
In Christ’s Name –