The Things that Belong to Your Peace

by Lester Young

Do you know what ‘peace’ is? (And if you answer, “the opposite of war,” guess how many points you get?) I’m referring to what the Bible means when the word ‘peace’ is used. There’s a lot more to it than the average Westerner’s first impression.

In order to get a more robust flavor of what God’s definition of peace really is, we’re going to have to do a little bit of digging. So go ahead and break out your Hebrew and Greek dictionaries and we’ll get started. (pause) …Don’t have those, huh? Well, here’s a very handy online resource that you can use – a King James Bible with Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary (many thanks and blessings to John Hurt and JohnHurt.com).

Now, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word that we translate as ‘peace’ is shalowm, and it literally means ‘safe’ (or ‘safety’), but it also includes all these additional connotations: ‘well,’ ‘happy,’ ‘favor,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘(good) welfare,’ ‘(good) health,’ ‘prosperity,’ ‘peace,’ ‘rest,’ and ‘wholly (as in ‘whole’).’ In other words, basically, all of the good stuff…including, yes, physical prosperity. And, in the New Testament’s original Greek language, we get our ‘peace’ from the word eirene (pronounced i-ray’-nay); which, additionally, is also rendered as ‘prosperity,’ ‘quietness,’ ‘rest,’ ‘one’ or ‘set at one again.’ That sounds pretty good, too. And…(gasp)…there’s that ‘prosperity’ word again! Hmm…

Just how much “peace” do you think Jesus enjoyed when He walked this earth? I’m quite comfortable in saying that I believe he must have been the most peaceful individual who’s ever shown up around here. Why wouldn’t He be? He walked lockstep with God. Until the time came for Him to lay down His life as a ransom for you and me, nobody could lay a finger on Him – and He knew that (Matthew 10:28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; John 10:17-18). He was peaceful…that is, full of peace. Jesus was (and is) well and doing fine, joyous and happy, favored of God, in great health, quiet and at rest (in other words, totally unanxious), one with the Father, whole and yes, prosperous, too! (No, He wasn’t anything close to being a poor beggar with threadbare clothing…but that’s a subject for another post.)

Now, here’s where it really gets good…He’s given us His peace (John 14:27), complete with everything that comes with it! That means we can and should be walking in the same oneness with the Father that Jesus did. It means we can and should be enjoying the same life here that Jesus did, because we have the same life that He has – the eternal, overcoming, full-to-overflowing life of the Father (John 10:10). We already have citizenship and live with Him in His Kingdom (Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1:13).

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem as He entered into it before His crucifixion, lamenting that “if she had only known and recognized the things that belonged to her peace” (Luke 19:42). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the Lord to have to cry over me. He’s bought and paid for so, so much; and then turned right around and given all those good things to me – and to you. Well, out of love, reverence and gratitude, I’m going to receive everything He wants me to have. How about you?

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2 Comments to “The Things that Belong to Your Peace”

  1. Amen, Lester! The peace that Jesus gives is so very rich in meaning, not like the peace that the world gives. It is the “peace that passeth understanding” — beyond our human comprehension, and all we can do is receive and embrace it as a gift. Thank you for the reminder!

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