John 14:22-31

22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”

23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.

30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31 but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.

                                

One of the greatest desires that almost all people in the world share is the desire to see us have peace in the world.  One of the funny lines in “Miss Congeniality” is how shocked people are at the tough things that Sandra Bulluck would want to see happen if she were chosen the beauty queen of the pageant.  No one applauds, until she adds on to the end, “Oh, and world peace.”  But no matter how hard we try to work things out between two parties, whether they be two individuals or two nations, peace seems so often to be so very elusive.  We never quite seem to be able to reach this goal.

One of the world’s most beloved Christmas Carols is “Silent Night“.  In this carol, we get a sense of the holiness of the baby Jesus, and we who are mortal stand in silent awe worshiping the new King of Kings.  The song ends with us wishing Jesus to “sleep in heavenly peace.”  It is said that during World War 1 when it came to be Christmas Eve, men from both sides of the war stopped shooting and started singing “Silent Night“.  The cold weary soldiers from both sides could hear the other side singing the song, one side in English, and the other side in German.  For just an instant out of that terrible four year war, there were voices from opposite camps being raised to wish for heavenly peace.

    

After this “War to end all Wars“, it wasn’t long until the globe plunged into the dark times of World War 2.  Only a few years later there was the Korean War, then the Vietnam War, and even that bizarre 6-Day War between Israel, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.  Highly precise technological weapons took us to a new level of killing strategically in the Gulf War, which was closely followed by the Iraq War.  Today we are deeply concerned that a return to barbarism may happen with the threat of chemical warfare by the gov’t of Syria against its own people.

Our deep sense of a lack of peace does not have to be created just through the wars between men.  In recent days, we have seen that Mother Earth seems to be at war against us as well.  In this month alone, which is only 17 in so far, we have heard of the raging fires damaging communities in Syndey, Australia, Hurricane Ingrid is bearing down on the east coast of Mexico and could cause thousands of people to evacuate the area, Mount Sinabung in Indonesia has just erupted and has caused many thousands of people to evacuate that area, and most recently we are seeing and hearing of the great devastation being caused by the flooding waters in Colorado.

    

Where can a person find peace in a world like this?  Jesus says that He is able to give us peace, and then he qualifies it by saying it is “a peace of mind and heart” and “the peace I give is a gift that the world cannot give.”  Jesus knows that there are of these terrible things happening in life, the brutality of man against man, and the true insignificance of man when he comes face to face with an angry “Mother Nature“.  But Jesus’ peace is not something external, which might cause a temporary ceasefire between enemies.  Not does Scripture promise us that the assaults upon man from nature will decrease and become better devastating.  Romans 8:20-22 tells us that the created world too is under God’s curse, due to the sins of men, and it is broken and fallen apart, and the world awaits the day that God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth.

Instead, Jesus offers to all those who will believe in Him and will obey all the things that He asks of them, they will experience true joy and a supernatural inner heart peace, no matter what the external circumstances might be at the time.  For when we are truly in love with God, then Scripture tells us that we will be accepted and loved back by God, which is worth more than any precious item that this world could ever offer.  And He will send His Teacher, His Comforter and His Advocate for us who will help us remain pure and to stand in our place and make our defense before God whenever He saw someone being caught in sin.

So what kind of peace are you looking for: temporary man-made peace (based on rules of conduct), or eternal God-made peace which helps you get through this life, and prepares you for the eternal life you will have when He is ruling in your heart.

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