Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
22 January 2023
“I was in Chelsea police station where I was charged with perjury and conspiracy to pervert public justice. I spent the next five hours alone in a police cell while waiting for the various formalities such as finger-printing and photographs. I used that time to pray, to meditate and to read all 16 chapters of St. Mark’s Gospel, something I had long meant to do at one sitting. This should have been a time of deep despair. The worst day of my life. Not so. For I such an overwhelming sense of God’s presence in the cell with me that I was at peace.”
Jonathan Aitken, former member of the British Cabinet, imprisoned for perjury.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27
What does Jesus mean here by “Peace”? To understand anything in the Scriptures we need to start with God. The fact that this world is not at peace with itself or with one another is rooted in the fact that it is not at peace with God. That is always the starting place. We will never know peace with others until we know peace with God.
Jesus is saying that He “leaves” His peace as a legacy to His disciples, and He “gives” His peace as a gift or treasure to them. So what does the word peace mean here? First we can say it is spoken in the context of an absence of trouble and fear within the human heart:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14:1, 27
In a real sense everything Jesus taught is to lead us to peace, that assurance of faith by which we need not be troubled. We have an awesome future ahead of us, both in this world, and most definitely in the next! How much comfort and peace has Jesus’ words brought to those e.g. funerals who are mourning, are troubled, and are even feeling there is no hope,
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.John 14:1-3
As we put our faith in God and His Son a remarkable peace fills our hearts, everything is different, His loving presence dwells in our hearts through the Spirit of peace!
The Lord is near. 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 4:5-7
This is Jesus’ own peace, not the world’s peace and only Jesus can give this kind of peace,
for this peace “is no less than the salvation of the kingdom of God”
“The new order is simply the peace of God in the world”
Jesus’ peace is eternal, whereas the world’s peace is only shallow, on the surface, and short-lived,
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.Jer. 6:14
Peace refers to the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ and for Jesus refers to His mission on earth to ultimately restore humanity’s broken relationship with God, from those who are His enemies, to those who are at peace with Him (cf. Rom. 5:1).
“Jesus’ ‘shalom’ not only brings an end to the brokenness caused by sin, but it will be the fruit of the Spirit when He departs.”
Gary M. Burge
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace …Gal. 5:22
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace,Rom. 8:6
Quote of the week
“No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace”
Verse of the week
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.Ps 46:10
Heavenly Father, thank You for the peace You give that passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds. May many, in this troubled world we live in, come to know this peace in Jesus Christ, Amen!