PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU

Scripture Reading:  John 14:25-31

“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)

We must consider the context as we reflect on these words of Jesus.  Soon Jesus was to be betrayed and arrested.  He faced the cross and death.  Yet He was giving comfort to His disciples, because they were afraid and deeply troubled.  Earlier He said to them:  “Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).  And now He says it again:  “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Jesus gave comfort to His disciples when He told them about the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would come to be with them and to dwell within them (John 14:16-17).  As they would soon learn, the Holy Spirit lives in believers and produces spiritual fruit in their lives:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control…” (Galatians 5:22,23).  One of the fruit of the Spirit is peace.  Jesus promised His disciples:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

The next words Jesus spoke were these:  “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).  The Holy Spirit within us produces the fruit of peace and reminds us what Jesus has said and promised.

The biblical concept of peace (Hebrew, Shalom) is rich and full.  It means far more than an absence of conflict; it also carries the idea of flourishing, of blessing.  It implies well being and satisfaction.  Jesus promises to give us His peace.  Through His work on our behalf, we have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1) because Jesus reconciled us with God and, as a result, we have peace with God.

Jesus also promised that that we can experience the “peace of God” (Philippians 4:7), the deep inward peace from God that guards our hearts and minds.  In the midst of our greatest struggles, we can have peace and our troubled hearts can be comforted, for we know that the Holy Spirit who is in us is producing the fruit of peace and is reminding us of the comforting words of Jesus, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Lord Jesus, thank you for these comforting words.  Thank you that You have given me Your peace — peace with God and the peace of God which guards my heart and mind.  I am thankful that Your Spirit produces peace within me and reminds me of Your words of promise and hope.

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