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The Gift of Peace
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
John 14:27 NLT
In this chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus explains to the Apostles that he’ll soon be leaving them through his betrayal, suffering, and death on the cross. But he also promises that he will be back, and tells them of “the Advocate” he will send, the Holy Spirit.
Today, we often leave others with a “goodbye”, literally meaning “God be with you”. In those days and in modern Israel, the farewell is “shalom”. That is translated as “peace be with you,” a blessing used in many Christian church ceremonies.
Here, Jesus offers his Apostles peace of mind and heart. It’s not the same shallow peace or “shalom” offered as a farewell, which is why He points out that His peace is a gift that the world cannot give.
Jesus was telling the Apostles that the peace He is bequeathing to them is greater than the worldly peace. The world’s peace is simply the peace of escapism, the avoidance of trouble, and refusing to face things.
He knew that He would soon be facing suffering, conflict, and death, yet His heart was completely fearless and untroubled. That peace is described beautifully by Paul in Philippians 4:7 as that “which passeth all understanding”.
Jesus was leaving His dearest friends and companions, yet as one who had no worldly possessions He couldn’t offer a fortune or belongings as a parting gift. Instead, He gave them (and us) something far greater — the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of God the Son.
As we enter this busy time of year, let’s not simply think of material gifts. The secular world continues to attack and belittle our faith, but we can survive and thrive in this time through His peace “that the world cannot give”.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Thank You, Father, for these comforting words. Please help me to keep them in mind as I live daily in a world that is increasingly against You and where all my beliefs are attacked. Let me be a living witness to all those I encounter daily. I Thank You that Your grace is sufficient, Your strength is made perfect in my weakness, Your peace passes all understanding, and Your promises endure forever. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.