Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.
When I was little my sisters and I would ask my Dad every year what he wanted for Christmas. He would always say, “World peace and socks,” and we would all groan. We knew we could get him socks, but certainly not world peace. As we grew older, every year we asked him what he wanted, and every year he would say the same thing. Finally, when I was an adult, I asked him why he asked for socks and world peace every year. He said he needed socks, but what the world needed was peace on earth. “I’m already loved,” Dad said, “so peace is the greatest gift.”
Jesus loved his disciples and he loves us. In the verse today Jesus is giving final instructions and telling his disciples the terms of his last will and testament. The disciples are the heirs to his ministry and Jesus is giving them one of his most precious possessions. This possession is not earthly goods, it is a spiritual gift. Jesus says, “my peace I give you.”
Jesus tells them his peace isn’t like the world’s peace, which is conditional and fragile and can be broken at any moment. The peace Jesus gives us, because he loves us and died for us, is everlasting. As a child of God you already have his peace. In the midst of life’s many storms, when you turn to God in prayer, you can draw great strength and courage from this wellspring of peace in your soul. In times of need, you will find rest in this peace from Jesus. It will always be with you.
Jesus then commands his disciples: “do not be afraid.” We no longer need to fear the uncertainties in life. We are not to let our hearts be troubled, not to let our emotions overcome us, but instead to rely on his peace. It will see us through all the difficulties we will experience.
Jesus has given us this peace, his own peace – do not be afraid!
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
As a disciple of Jesus you are equipped with “his peace.” How can relying on the peace of Jesus, rather than our emotions, guide us to better handle the difficulties we face each day?
Jesus tells us to “not be afraid.” When have you found yourself anxious or fearful lately? Make time to tell Jesus how you feel and ask him to help you rely on his peace.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace. You gave us your peace, not as the world gives, but as your everlasting gift to us. Jesus, I am facing many difficulties with work or money, broken relationships, illness or addiction, and I am troubled and afraid. Teach me to not be afraid and to always turn to you. I know that I can always rely on you and the gift of your peace. Amen.