Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus is Peace, Not a Teacher of Peace

As regular readers of this blog know, I read Our Daily Bread as part of my daily devotion time. Most days, really great things appear there and I often share its insights here.

But I have to take major exception to today's piece written by Pastor Joe Stowell. He refers to the "peace on earth" proclaimed by the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8-14) and concludes that, in His teaching, Jesus gave us the tools to make peace.

This, it seems to me, misses a big part of the New Testament's message. Ephesians 2:14 says of Jesus, "He is our peace." Jesus is the peace proclaimed by the angels that night. Nothing we add to the presence of Jesus in our lives will bring peace. Jesus is all we need for peace--with ourselves, with others, and most importantly, with the God Who made us.

All who, in the power of the Holy Spirit, dare to repent of sin and believe in Jesus are filled with God's peace. They are reconciled to God and to others and are called from that time forward to do the admittedly hard work of living in that peace.

Peace comes as a gift from God to all who believe in Jesus. Earlier in Ephesians, we're told, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life (Ephesians 2:9-10).

Peace on earth has come to us in Jesus. We don't manufacture it with the tools Jesus gives, as though Jesus were just another teacher of religion, guru of morality, or a pop psychologist or motivational speaker selling the latest metaphysical wares.

Jesus is the Savior, the King of all kings, and God in the flesh. He brings peace. The call of believers in Jesus is simply to walk in the peace God has already created to be our way of life!

May our walk with Jesus be filled with His peace, irrespective of the conflicts which may roil this world, and may God use us to bring the peace that comes from believing in and belonging to Jesus to all we meet!


Steve said...

I enjoyed reading this post, though I feel inclined to offer an alternative perspective.

When I was a Christian, there were times when I was not at peace. There was an awareness that God is in control, which is reassuring, but I still have that awareness even though I no longer call myself a Christian - so I don't think that particular aspect of peace is linked to Jesus.

It's difficult to know in what sense you mean Jesus is peace, because it seems to me that Christians go through all sorts of non-peaceful stuff. I actually feel more at peace now, in many ways, than when I was a Christian. This is mainly due to lifestyle changes, which I think play a very important part in our experience of peace.

If you are arguing that Jesus provides some peace of mind, then I can wholly understand that - as feeling that one is forgiven and going to heaven is certainly reassuring.

Mark Daniels said...

Thanks for your comment.

I mean that Jesus brings us peace with God and peace with ourselves, even when we go through non-peaceful stuff. It's the assurance that belong to God forever in spite of my faults and in spite of what happens to me. It's not a feeling so much as a certainty.

Thanks again so much for taking the time to leave your comment. I really appreciate that!