John 20 recounts the resurrection of Christ after He had been crucified. He appears to His disciples on three different occasions. Each time, He greets them with the same phrase: “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19, 21, 26) I believe the reason for this is that they were very troubled by the events of the past few days. Their friend and leader had been killed; they were in hiding, afraid the same may happen to them. Jesus calmed them with His presence and His promise of peace.
I can’t think of a more appropriate greeting for today. If we’ve ever needed peace on earth, we need it now.
A significant statement is made when the angels appeared to the shepherds, announcing the birth of Messiah: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) This is the message of Christmas – peace on earth.
The purpose of the coming of Jesus is to bring peace, to make a settlement between God and humankind. Clearly, those who are odds with Christ will not enjoy His peace. In fact, He once said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke 12:51) He was speaking of the necessity of choosing Him. Jesus is what separates good from evil, peace from war.
So the only way to have peace is to know Jesus; not just as a newborn baby, but as the resurrected Lord and King. You’ve seen the bumper sticker: No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Peace be upon the earth, peace be upon you.