“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. 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.” (John 14:27-28)
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary defines “peace” as follows: “Total well-being, prosperity, and security associated with God’s presence among his people. Linked in the OT with the covenant, the presence of peace was conditional, based on Israel’s obedience. In the prophetic writings, true peace is part of the end-time hope of God’s salvation. In the NT, this longed-for peace is understood as having come in Christ and can be experienced by the believers.”
In the Old Testament, the word Shalom, the most prominent OT word for “peace,” possessed a variety of meanings. These include wholeness, health, security, well-being, and salvation. Peace could also apply to an equally wide range of situations. This includes the individual (Psalm 37:37; Proverbs 3:2; Isaiah 32:17), the relationship between people (Genesis 34:21; Jos 9:15) nations (e.g., absence of conflict—Deuteronomy 2:26; Joshua 10:21; 1 Kings 5:12; Psalm 122:6–7), and the relationship of God and people (Psalm 85:8; Jeremiah 16:5).
The Scriptures contain several references to the doctrine of peace. Here is but a brief sampling.
- Isaiah 32:16-17 – “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”
- Jeremiah 16:5 – “For thus says the LORD: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the LORD.”
- Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 4:7-9 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
It is this peace that Jesus gives. It is a freedom from worry and to possess a mind, emotions and a will which is filled with tranquility. It is the result of a covenant relationship with God, through the person and work of Jesus Christ by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
This truth was especially important for the disciples to realize hours before Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. It is also a truth which disciples of Jesus today must realize.
One Bible scholar writes, “The word “peace” reflects the Hebrew “Shalom,” which became a greeting to his disciples after the resurrection (John 20:19-26). On a personal level this peace, unknown to the unsaved, provides supernatural calm and comfort in the midst of trials (Philippians 4:7), and enables God’s people to respond to others in harmony (Colossians 3:15). The greatest reality of this peace will be in the messianic kingdom (Numbers 6:26; Psalm 29:11; Isaiah 9:6-7; 52:7; 54:13; 57:19; Ezekiel 37:26; Haggai 2:9; Acts 10:36; Romans 1:7; 5:1; 14:17).”
Believers in Christ have this peace from God because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Ephesians 2:21-23). We must always remember this truth in our times of trouble.
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains, “Jesus has secured peace between His people and the Father, so we can have peace in this world. It is not that we will not face difficulties but that our difficulties will not crush us, for we know that we are at perfect peace with God. Let the peace Christ gives you grant you confidence this day that He is with you, that He loves you, and that He is working for your good and His glory.”
Soli deo Gloria!