“Peace I leave with you,” Jesus said, “my peace I give you” (John 14:27) Jesus’ peace transcends any peace that we might again on earth: “I do not give [peace] to you as the world gives.” His peace takes away troubled hearts and fear.
Peace as the world gives
Peace comes to us in many forms. It might come through the cessation of wars or a through a sense of calmness. Yet the end of wars and the experience of calm signify the same reality: to cease from conflict is to be calm. And this is what we all seek, we strive for peace and quiet. We want to be free from troubles to repose in peace.
But violence from without and wars within betray our rest in worldly peace.
Wars never seem to end. And when they decline, we discover that suicide rates exceed the rates of all violent crime and war as they did in 2002. And we find that political fighting, fraternal bitterness, and marital bickering crop up everywhere and at all times.
Worldly peace betrays. It promises but does not deliver.
Peace as Jesus gives
And this is why Jesus’ peace is so attractive. 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.
And this is because Jesus’ peace descends from heaven. Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:26–27). When Jesus leaves, the Spirit comes and peace with him. The Spirit of Christ comes to us from the Father and grants us peace.
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-wordly. It comes down from heaven to us.
And so the Father bestows heavenly, spiritual peace upon us on the basis of Christ’s life and work. As Paul says, we have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:3).
Jesus’ peace teaches not to live on bread alone, not to rely on circumstances, not to thrive on worldy gain. It shows us an eternal, immortal, and transcendent way. It brings us into the heavenly places.
His peace can never be taken away and is ours forever in him. No war, no fight, no battle, no hunger, no pain, no fear, no misery incurred in this life can rob us from the treasure of incorruptible peace. Through it, we can say, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11).
Let us not desire to live in the war-torn flesh but in the tranquil spirit. Nor let us lay our hope on earth but on what is above. For when Jesus left the world, he gave us heaven. And by heaven’s spiritual gift, we have peace everlasting.