John part 65
Peace, wonderful peace
John 14:27-31 ESV – 27 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. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
The setting is the last supper. Jesus has shown them what true kingdom service looked like by washing the disciple’s feet. They have shared the meal together, which represents His upcoming death for sin. He shared the final cup of the meal with Judas, revealing him as His betrayer. He also revealed that Peter would deny Him three times.
Then Jesus starts to bring comfort to the Eleven. He reveals a new commandment for His followers. He also reveals Himself as the only way to God, and that He is coming back for them; while He is gone, the Holy Spirit would come as an ever present helper for them.
Let’s continue and look at what Jesus has to say concerning peace.
The peace Christ gives belongs to Him.
John 14:27 ESV – 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.
Now during the first century, and still in the Middle Eastern culture, when you are leaving a friend or family member, you often say, “Shalom,” or “Peace.” You are pronouncing a blessing of peace to them.
John Calvin in his commentary had this to say: “Christ reminds them that His peace does not consist in an empty and unavailing wish, but is accompanied by its effect. In short, He says that He is going away from them in body, but His peace remains with His disciples; that is, they will always be happy through His blessing.”
You see the blessing of peace that Jesus pronounces over them is more than a cultural greeting or a farewell; it is a peace that belongs to Christ Himself or comes from Christ Himself. This is not the peace of the world. Peace by the world’s standards would be: absence of violence, conflict, divisions, etc… This type of peace is rather fleeting and based solely on circumstances.
The type of peace that Christ gives is not based on circumstances, but based on His Character.
Greek word for peace:
- Eirene (i-ray’-nay).
- It means: “one, peace quietness, rest; to set at one again.”
- It refers to two truths: (1) restoration with God; (2) a feeling of security or stability based on Christ’s promises and presence.
So be encouraged that no matter what you and I may be facing our peace does not come from how we handle problems. It comes from the truths that in Christ we’ve been fully reconciled with God; and in the midst of problems, we have His precious promises and His ever abiding presence.
When you are troubled and in fear, remember the peace that you have with God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ’s peace comes because Christ had gone to the Father.
John 14:28 ESV – You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
Now why should the Eleven (and all of Christ’s disciples throughout history) rejoice because Christ is leaving, going to the Father, and coming again? Well, because in the story of redemption – we have it through the cross; Christ is our interceding High Priest presently, and He will come again for us to complete the redemption story.
Notice that Christ said, “If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father…” what do you suppose He meant by saying this? I mean, the disciples did love Him, obviously. Well, this is the agapao unconditional love that Jesus and the New Testament authors speak of. They did love Jesus, but it wasn’t a total, unconditional, spiritual type of love presently. If it would have been, then they would be rejoicing over the fact that Christ is returning to His Father in heaven. Perhaps theirs at this time was a selfish type love: they didn’t want Him to leave, but to stay forever with them and they were troubled about His death and ultimately His departure.
Now what does Jesus mean by the statement, “for the Father is greater than I”? The Greek word for greater does not suggest an inequality in the Trinity, but it focuses on Christ’s willful subordination as the Son to the will of the Father.
Christ’s peace is displayed in Christ’s revelation of the upcoming events.
John 14:29 ESV – And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.
Even though John states earlier that Jesus was troubled (John 13:27); He displays His peace that He has in the will of the Father by revealing the upcoming events.
He tells them these events; not to discourage them, but so they would recognize God’s Sovereign control and plan and believe in Christ’s words – including His comforting words.
The New Testament has never promised a comfortable life for His disciples. It promises persecution, pain, sorrow, division, false teachers, etc…. These things are not revealed to us to scare us or trouble us. God has revealed these things, so that when they do happen, we can believe and trust in His comforting words during difficult times.
Christ’s peace is displayed in His victory over Satan and His obedience to the Father’s plan.
John 14:30-31 ESV – 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
The hour for Christ’s punishment and death for our sins is quickly approaching. He doesn’t have much time left to instruct and comfort the Eleven.
What does Jesus mean by, “the ruler of this world is coming”? Satan is coming through the tools of Judas, the Jewish Leaders, and the Roman soldiers to have Jesus arrested, tortured, and killed.
What Satan does not recognize is this upcoming act against Christ is actually part of the Father’s plan.
Satan has no claim or hold on Jesus Christ. Christ is going to willfully submit to the plan of the Father, and it will reveal Christ’s love of the Father.
The time has now ended in the room where the supper took place. They will now be heading toward the garden with Jesus having much more to say.
What can we learn?
- Christ’s peace is not based on circumstances; but His character.
- Times of sorrow are revealed in Scripture so that we might believe and trust in Christ and the comfort His Spirit brings.