Jesus Prince of Peace

Today, I want to begin with a little history lesson about the Roman Empire. Growing up on the east coast of England, remnants of Roman rule are everywhere from their feats of engineering, such as dead straight roads that cut across land and stand out from the normal winding English country roads, to ancient buildings and baths with underfloor heating which even today we consider a luxury.

Jesus, the Bible reminds us, was born into the world of the Roman Empire. The Empire stretched from Great Britain to Judea and as far as North Africa. The emperor at that time of Jesus’ birth was Augustus and his reign ushered in a time known as Pax Romana—Roman Peace—a time of relative tranquility, prosperity, military security, public order, and high standards of administration such as the census mentioned in the account of Luke. 

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Luke 2:2

Although the people of Judea may have hoped for their own leader and king of the Jews, they did live in peace within the Roman Empire. Yet, the announcement of the birth of Jesus came with the celebrations and fanfares of heaven because Jesus heralded a different kind of peace. 

For to us a child is born… And he will be called… Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

So, how did Jesus bring peace into a world that was relatively peaceful? And what can we learn for ourselves and the time we live in which, depending on what we may think with all the wars in different parts of the world, is comparatively peaceful? The majority of us get up in the morning knowing our communities, towns, and countries have law and order and runs smoothly. They are free of revolts and disturbances.

Here are three ways Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the bringer of peace on earth.

Peace within ourselves

Scientific research shows that the spiritual practice of prayer makes us calmer by lowering stress, improving mood, and leads to better heart health . 

It’s not just the practice of prayer that makes us feel better, but prayer made through faith in Jesus brings a peace that transcends understanding.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

This is a different kind of peace. It is peace that comes from and originates with God. It is granted through Jesus. It is God who gives us composure in the midst of trouble and dissolves fear when feeling calm shouldn’t make sense.

Peace with other people

The New Testament is full of instruction to live at peace, particularly with other people who believe in Jesus. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. Colossians 3:15

But, the instruction doesn’t stop there. 

Jesus urged us to live at peace with all people—those who persecute us, those who attack us, those who are our enemies (Luke 6:27-28). Jesus expects us to do our part at being peacemakers, but he does not expect us to do this alone. When Jesus left earth, his words were:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27

Jesus’ peace is possible through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 

Let’s ask for more of the Holy Spirit, so we can live and breathe peace. Let’s pray for more harmony within our families, with our neighbors, in our country and across the world. We certainly need it. 

It is not easy to live in peace when we have difficult people living next door to us, when we feel physically and spiritually attacked. But let’s bring our difficulties to God in prayer and ask him to give us the strength, courage, and perspective we need to live in peace. 

And let’s work at living in agreement across our faith and church communities, so that we do experience God’s peace, through Jesus, when we come together and worship, so that our churches are sanctuaries of goodwill and friendship even if outside the walls there is conflict and stress.

Peace with God

We end with a fact. It is with certainty that you have peace with God. It is not a feeling that you conjure up to make yourself feel better. Even though we are still broken people who fail God in what we say, think and do, because of Jesus we are at peace with God. It is not just what Jesus has done but also what Jesus still does, pleading on our behalf before God.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. Hebrews 7:25 NLT

Jesus has ushered in eternal peace with God for us.

Augustus’ rule might have been a time of peace but it was temporary. Jesus however, ushers in permanent peace with God.

Let that knowledge and truth sink in as you read this. When the angels announced peace on earth, it was declared as true. Not maybe, not possibly, but with certainty.

We can rest in peace. The same peace we long for in heaven, is available on earth because of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We have long-lasting peace now and forever.


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