Tuesday 04 May 2010

Bible Book:

"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." (v.27)

John 14:27-31 Tuesday 4 May 2010


Here, Jesus is speaking to his disciples on the eve of hiscrucifixion, telling them that the time for his death is at hand.How strange, then, that he should promise them peace.

'Peace' (Shalom) was and is still used in Hebrew as both a greetingand an expression of farewell. But Jesus meant more than justgoodbye. When he said "Peace I leave with you" it wasn't just aconventional wish. The word translated here as 'leave' means'bequest'. It is as if Jesus had said "From me you will inheritpeace".

But of course, John's readers knew that there was to be no peace.Jesus would give up his life on the Cross. Violence rather thanpeace would follow this last gathering. And the disciples did notexpect to find peace in Jesus' death. They would have to wait untilafter the resurrection to understand everything that Jesus wastelling them now.

But there was a peace in Jesus' leave-taking and this is hinted atnear the end of this reading. Jesus' death meant he was going toGod and that his mission on earth had been fulfilled. There wassomething about what Jesus had done and would soon do on the Crossthat fulfilled the promises that God had made long ago with Noah,Abraham and Moses. The reason that the disciples were to rejoicewas because the events that had already been promised by God longago were soon to be complete. The forces of evil would beconfronted, but their defeat was assured.

The peace that the disciples were to inherit from Jesus alsocarried a challenge for them: do not let your hearts be cowardly.When Jesus left, the disciples would need to prove that they didn'tjust love him for their own benefit. They had to face the challengeof loving him and doing his will without the benefit of hisphysical presence. If they could do that and fulfil the calling tolove, then they would be able to rejoice.

To Ponder

What is your experience of being in a verydifficult position and being told "Don't worry about it, everythingwill work out for the best"?

When you are faced with a difficult situation,how does peace make itself known, if at all?

What do you think Jesus means when he says "I donot give to you as the world gives"?

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