27 I leave peace with you, My peace I give to you; I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not be agitated in your heart, neither be fearful.
Peace is often described as the absence of war or disputes. Ever since the days of Adam there has been an absence of peace in the world. Today around the globe there are many wars that are going on. There are those people who have never known what it is to live in peace.
Yet it is not just nations that war against nations, there are disruptive arguments and feuds between friends and relations. Such an absence of peace can lead to a total rupture of relations.
Jesus told the disciples that He was leaving them His peace.
What did He mean by this?
We may recall that a little earlier there had arisen a dispute among the disciples as to who would sit at the right-hand side of Jesus when He comes in glory. Therefore, there had been some element of friction between the disciples, a lack of peace and uniformity.
This was not the way of Jesus, because where there is friction between us there is a removal of our focus away from Jesus and the purposes for which He has called us.
We need His peace to invade every part of our being, both as individuals and also collectively as a church, and churches.
The peace that Jesus gives to us is the peace that makes us one with the Father. It is the peace that brings salvation to our souls. It is the peace that brings welfare to our bodies.
Peace is very precious to us, especially the peace of God.
In Philippians chapter 4 Paul gives us certain stepping stones to peace:
- Rejoice always in the Lord;
- Be gentle;
- Don’t be anxious;
- Present our prayers, petitions, and requests with thankfulness to God;
- Then he says:
If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4.7 (NLT).