Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give
to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.”
It was the first Easter night. Jesus’ disciples were frightened, confused, and hiding behind locked doors. They had not a clue as to what the future would hold for them. Peter had denied Jesus, and others had deserted Him. But Jesus came looking for them. His first words to them were: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19b). He who is the Prince of Peace came bearing peace.
Remarkably in today’s scripture Jesus is passing the peace He enjoys to His frightened disciples: “my peace I give to you.” On the cusp of betrayal, denial, abandonment and torture, Jesus knows peace. It is this very peace that His disciples will come to experience. By the world’s definition peace is only the absence of trouble. Jesus gives peace in the midst of trouble. This was the peace Paul wrote about from a prison cell: “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). The only explanation for such peace was the presence of Jesus with him.
Jesus will alert His disciples in coming verses about trouble ahead (John 15:18 – 16:4). He warns that they will be hated, put out of synagogues, even killed. Yet through all of their troubles they will learn to live in the peace Jesus gives. They will share in Jesus’ troubles, but they will also share in His peace. This was Jesus’ going away gift to all of His followers: PEACE. Their hearts need not be troubled or afraid.
I’m thinking of a time when Jesus’ promised peace became very real to me. It happened the day I turned and walked away from my wife Melodee’s fresh grave. I felt like they had also buried me that day. Then deep from within I heard Jesus say, “I am here with you.” His presence came to me as a peace surpassing all understanding, even in my sorrow and pain. For peace is not the absence of trouble, but Jesus’ presence with us.
- Although Peter denied Jesus, and the other disciples deserted Him, Jesus came saying to them, “Peace be with you.”Take a few moments to ‘hear’ Jesus also saying to you, “Peace be with you.”
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)