“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Prince of Peace.
It’s what the Israelites expected to find in their Messiah.
They were looking for someone who would bring an end to their oppression.
One who would overthrow their countless captors and rule their nation.
Someone who would restore prosperity, hope, and wealth into their hands.
One who could put an end to the centuries of turmoil, persecution, and degradation, and place them back as the apple of God’s eye.
The Israelites wanted rest from their struggles.
And they were looking for a Messiah who would bring it to them.
And then Jesus enters the scene.
Coming in as a baby.
Born on the floor of a barn.
To an unwed, teenage mother.
In the lowliest of towns.
He taught a message of loving one’s enemies. Blessing those who persecute you. Obeying the masters above you. He embraced sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes, while judging the religious elite. He seemed more bent on correcting the Israelites than freeing them from their captors.
He died before he overthrew their oppressors.
Spent too much time healing the sick to establish a throne.
He never got around to building an army and giving them their own country again.
Their Messiah didn’t bring them peace.
Not in the way they expected.
They were looking for earthly peace.
An end to turmoil and suffering.
Christ gave them something more.
The word we translate as peace in the above verse is the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom), and means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquility, contentment, and friendship.
Christ didn’t bring an end to their struggles. He didn’t come to make them wealthy and overthrow their oppressors. He didn’t establish an earthly kingdom and drive their enemies away so they could live in euphoria.
Christ came to make us complete.
Restored to a place of friendship and contentment in God.
It’s what makes Him the true Prince of Peace.
So, my brothers and sisters, as we enter the final week of Advent, may you be reminded of the peace Christ brings into your life. May you see that true peace isn’t an absence of trouble, but the wholeness that comes from the presence of God. And may you, as you journey towards a greater level of peace in your life, come face to face with the God who is the true author of peace.
Where is God bringing true peace into your life?