Monday nights studying through John’s gospel with so many of you have been great. In John 14:27, John records that Jesus said this:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
There is a lot here—a lot of important truth for us to ponder, and bring into the center of our thinking and feeling about the world and our lives. I think the breakdown of this verse by D.A. Carson is very insightful. Here it is:
Of this peace Jesus says, I do not give it to you as the world gives. The world is powerless to give peace. There is sufficient hatred, selfishness, bitterness, malice, anxiety and fear that every attempt at peace is rapidly swamped. Within a biblical framework, attempts to achieve personal equanimity or merely political stability, whether by ritual, mysticism or propaganda, without dealing with the fundamental reasons for strife, are intrinsically loathsome.
That is why [in Jeremiah, 6:13-15] God denounces “prophets and priests alike” who “practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, where there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.”
The world promises peace and waves the flag of peace as a greeting; it cannot give it.
But Jesus displays transcendent peace, his own peace, my peace, throughout his perilous hour of suffering and death. And by that death he absorbs in himself the malice of others, the sin of the world, and introduces the promised messianic peace in the way none of his contemporaries had envisaged. The pax Romana (“Roman peace”) was won and maintained by a brutal sword; not a few Jews thought the messianic peace would have to be secured by a still mightier sword. Instead, it was secured by an innocent man who suffered and died at the hands of the Romans, of the Jews, and of all of us. And by his death he effected for his own followers peace with God, and therefore “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.”