“My peace I give to you”
What is the peace of Jesus? The world is full of restless hearts and minds, many are looking for the next new experience, others are disturbed because their lives are out of control for one reason or another. Those who have a real relationship with Jesus develop “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
Today’s chapters in John continue to challenge us to think through them, but that is the wonder of the Bible, it is a book which never ceases to challenge and fascinate. It is not a book which we can put back on the shelf and say I have got my mind right around it all, I just have it there in case I want to check that my memory is accurate.
Jesus promised his disciples that after he is no longer with them they will receive “the Helper, the Holy Spirit” and this Spirit “will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. Immediately after this he says, “’Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (14:26,27).
In coming hours, the disciples were to be dreadfully distressed, only John remained close to him after he was arrested (18:15) and went in to personally witness his trial. He was the one “whom Jesus loved” (13:23), evidently the youngest, so age is no indicator of closeness to Jesus. It is John who, through the Holy Spirit, is able to recall and later write down this intimate conversation. part of which we read today.
After Jesus told them not to be afraid he says, “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe” (verses 28,29).
Events have taken place in our lifetime which the scriptures have predicted, especially in the Middle East: the world is fearful and the time is surely coming when that fear will ‘explode’ into world-wide consternation. At that time it will be vital for true believers to have the words of Jesus at the forefront of their minds, “My peace I give to you … let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”. Let us seek to experience that “peace” now – especially in times of personal stress and distress.