Scripture: John 14:15-31
Key verse: (27) 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.
Reflection: Jesus was saying farewell to his disciples. He knew he would leave them and that they would be lost, worried, afraid. How can you tell someone not to be afraid, especially if there is something real to fear? A soldier deploys on a difficult mission and tells the partner not to fear. A parent comforts young children as the cancer kills any hope. A teenager travels to a faraway school with no family or friends nearby. Don’t be afraid! Easier heard than done.
Jesus offered his friends a special gift to deal with their fear – his peace. In that time and place there was another kind of peace that everyone knew about. It was called the Pax Romana – Roman Peace. This peace brought stability and prosperity to the world. It kept enemies far away, dealt with local disturbances, and ensured everyone knew the boundaries of propriety. That part of Roman Peace was great. But keeping the peace, the Roman Peace, required the application of violent, deadly force to put down threats to the empire. That part of the peace could destroy communities, groups, and individuals (as Jesus found out). Roman peace was the world’s peace and everyone recognized it as the standard.
Until Jesus talked about his peace, unlike what the world (Rome) gives, a peace that can take away fear and calm troubled hearts. Jesus’ peace calmed fears by having folks follow God’s way, truth, and life. Accepting Jesus’ way removes fear from troubled hearts. It brings a peace that only Christ can give.
Jesus said it to his disciples almost 2,000 years ago but the words are for us today:
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.
Prayer: Calm our troubled hearts, O Lord. Give us peace amid chaos, uncertainty, and doubt. Help us to hold on to your way, your truth, and your life so that can we face each day unafraid. In the name of Jesus the Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].