Peace is not the easiest state to achieve. At times we find ourselves caught in stressful and even painful situations that rid us of hope, compassion, or maybe even faith, and Isaiah indicates that one final reason Jesus came to this earth was to provide peace. In Isaiah 9:6 we read,
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Here, Isaiah refers to Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” This title is comforting. This title is soothing. This title is perfect for a world that is constantly experiencing conflict. However, though it is great to know who is the “Prince of Peace,” what most of us want to know is how does He bring peace to our lives.
First, Jesus offers peace by forgiving your past.
In Luke 7 we read about a woman with a very sordid past. The text identifies her as a “sinner” (Luke 7:37), and indicates that she has a negative reputation that is known by everyone in her town. In fact, Jesus would later say that her sins were “many” (Luke 7:47). Somewhere, somehow she has heard about Jesus, and, now, she so desperately needed to see Jesus that she had no problem interrupting a dinner party at somebody else’s house.
The dinner was in the house of a Pharisee named Simon, and, when she entered the room, I am certain a gasp could be heard from the self-righteous guests. Everyone present in that house knew who she was and knew the sins she had committed. They even wondered why Jesus would let someone as sinful as her come in contact with someone as pure as Himself. Ignoring their judgmental stares, she made her way to Jesus and knelt down at His feet where she then washed, kissed, and anointed them with expensive ointment. Jesus’ response to this woman was much different than His dinner guests. He looked at her and said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48) then used this moment as an opportunity to educate those present on forgiveness. As this scene comes to an end, Jesus spoke to the woman and said “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (7:50), and my guess is that she did.
You may be just like this woman with a closet full of skeletons searching for a chance to start over. Maybe you have done some things in your past that you think are unforgivable. Maybe you are consumed with guilt or maybe you are haunted by your failures. Regardless of who you are or what you have done, it is the Prince of Peace who offers you forgiveness. Remember, He’s the One who said to the crowd that crucified Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), and, through repentance and baptism, we can receive that same forgiveness (Acts 2:38).
Second, Jesus offers peace by healing your wounds.
In Luke 8 we read about another woman. This woman who suffered from a blood disorder, more specifically a hemorrhaging disorder. She had been dealing with this issue for twelve long years, and, apparently, had spent all of her life savings on medical bills yet no physician could solve her malady. In fact, they just made things worse. Because her medical condition involved a discharge of blood she had been ostracized from the Jewish community according to the Mosaic Covenant’s purification laws. In other words, this woman was suffering physically, emotionally, and socially.
While Jesus was walking through a crowd of people this woman forced her way next to Him because she believed that He could heal her. In fact, she was so convinced of His healing power that she thought if she could just reach out and touch His clothes then she would be healed. She was right. Immediately after she touched Jesus, He started looking for her because He felt the healing power leave Him. Trembling, she acknowledged what she had done, likely expecting to be scolded; but to this women who had all but given up hope to ever find healing, Jesus said “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (8:48).
You may be just like this woman in need of healing. Maybe you need physical healing as you contend with a medical diagnosis. Maybe you need emotional healing as you encounter the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one. Maybe you need relational healing as you endure the deterioration of your marriage. Maybe you need spiritual healing as you wrestle with obstacles to your faith. Regardless of which kind of healing you need, it is the Prince of Peace who offers you healing and says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Finally, Jesus offers peace by calming your storms.
In Mark 4 Jesus was aboard a boat with His disciples when they encountered a fierce storm. This storm was so severe that it endangered the boat and the lives of the passengers on board. While the seas churned, the winds howled, and the waves crashed against the bow, Jesus slept below deck. Eventually His disciples awoke Him with the words, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing” (4:38). It was then that He “rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’” (4:39). Instantaneously, the winds died down and the sea calmed, and that storm that terrified the disciples was no more. Then Jesus said to those shaken men, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (4:40)
You may be just like these disciples, caught in the middle of a storm from which you see no way out. Maybe its the storm of a financial crisis that has left you uncertain about the future, a wound inflicted by someone in your past that lingers with you, or an addictive practice that you cannot seem to overcome. Regardless of what storm you face, it is the Prince of Peace who offers you safety. It is the Prince of Peace who said, “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” (John 14:27).
As we conclude our examination of Jesus’ identity as the Prince of Peace, consider for a moment the first words that Jesus spoke to His disciples after His resurrection. When He appeared to them in that upper room for the first time, they were terrified, yet again, and Jesus stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). That is what Jesus wants every soul to experience—the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).