Where is the “Peace on Earth?”

According to the bible, a prophet is one chosen by God to speak His words. Long before the birth of Jesus, the Jewish Prophet Isaiah prophesied the coming of God to walk among us on earth.  He prophesied many details consistent with the birth of Jesus.  And he referred to him by many names, one of which is “Prince of Peace.”

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:1

In the New Testament Luke also tells us that at the birth of Christ, the angels bring a message of joy and peace:

10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill
[e] toward men!”

Luke 2:10-14

As we look around us today, it is difficult to see where this “Peace on Earth” can be found.  It seems that everywhere around the world, there is anger, fear, war, fighting, abuse, and suffering of all kinds.  So then, where is the peace promised with the birth of Jesus?

Do we not understand the peace that is promised? How many of us think of peace as a state of everything being right in the world, or in our personal world?  I mean, Peace on Earth; that’s what it sounds like, right? Go ahead, nod to yourself, or raise your hand if this is how you understand peace. If we believe peace on earth means no wars, no anger, no disasters, no crises then maybe we are being short sighted.  Perhaps we are missing something.  Maybe we need to look at this peace differently.

The peace of Jesus is an internal peace.  It is a profound peace within ones heart.  As Wyatt Graham states in his article called What is the Peace That Jesus Gives Us?

“His peace is utterly unlike any peace on earth. It’s of an entirely different order. He gives heavenly peace, not earthy—spiritual peace not fleshly peace.”

I think any Christian, who works at a relationship with Jesus, will attest to how that relationship brings a calmness and peace to the heart, enabling us to thrive even when all around us may seem to be crumbling.  I personally can attest to this peace in one’s heart. I can tell you that I have had an experience in which Jesus was with me. . .and I felt a peace so profound, there are no words to describe it.  That experience changed my understanding of peace. And that is the experience I personally bring to this discussion. It gives me great confidence in the clarifications offered by many bible scholars.

Wyatt Graham describes this peace as follows:

“The Spirit’s peace makes us content whether in war or in peace, whether in need or in abundance. Peace comes despite circumstances. It comes no matter what happens on earth because the God’s peace comes to us by something other-worldly. It comes down from heaven to us.”

Peace of knowing Christ comes no matter what your personal circumstances are.  It comes regardless of what chaos might be going on in the world.  But to experience this peace of heart, we must seek Jesus.  We must welcome him into our hearts.

Many bible scholars have written on the meaning of the Peace of Jesus Christ.  You can google to find lots of articles.  John Piper created this lengthy article called My Peace I Give to You.

In it he references the Gospel of John and his account of Jesus’s concerns as he faced his death on the cross.  His concerns. . .were for us.  Take a moment to absorb that.  He is facing a horrendous death and knows it.  And yet His thoughts turn to caring for us; to sharing His peace with us.

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.”

John 14:27

Piper leads us step-by-step, through John 14:25-31.  He makes three key points in particular about verse 27. 

  • “He has in view your heart, and the peace of your heart, and the fearlessness of your heart, and the untroubled waters of your heart. He wants his people now, to be free from anxiety.”  In other words, His peace, which He gives to us is not of this world and it will relieve your heart from trouble and fear.
  • “But Jesus says (middle of verse 27), “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” which means that his peace is not based on good circumstances. It is given, and it holds sway, in spite of bad circumstances.

Piper then references how Jesus says much the same thing as recroded in the gospel of John.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart in that tribulation; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

  • Finally, Piper tells us that this peace is the peace of God; of Jesus.  Piper notes that Paul says:

“the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”

Philippians 4:7

Piper questions what there is about this peace that human understanding cannot even grasp it.  And he goes on to answer the question he has posed:

“It is God’s peace. The peace between Jesus and his Father. Verse 27a: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.’ My peace. I am not creating your peace. I am sharing with you my peace. I am bringing you into my peace.”

Finally, Piper raises a profound question by asking essentially:  What kind of peace is this when you are going to be killed!  What kind of peace do you have?  It will be a violent, excruciating death.  

Imagine for a moment that you are having a conversation with Jesus.  Can you see him standing there before you?  Ask what kind of peace he is talking about.  And listen.

Piper supposes that His response is:  “Perfect peace — with my Father. Tomorrow I will go to the cross, and there I will open the door for my sheep to enter my peace with my Father. I will satisfy his justice, and I will purchase your forgiveness, and I will provide your righteousness. And I will bring you into the very peace that I enjoy with my Father.”

And thus, Piper clarifies Jesus’s words.

“My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Therefore, let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”

John 14:27

The peace that Jesus brings to you, when you come to know Him and choose to follow Him, is a peace unlike any other. It will not matter what is happening in the world.  It will not matter what troubles you are personally facing.  It is the peace of God.  And it will free you. 

If we want to have earthly peace on the earth, well can you imagine what would happen if everyone on earth received the Peace of Jesus?

Hahn