Welcome to Christ’s Community Church. For the past three weeks we’ve been looking at Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6, a prophetic verse given over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, when he was called four specific names, and this last one is so very applicable to where many of us find ourselves. Here’s what the Bible says:
“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…” and then the fourth name, he will be called what? “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and yet for many of us this Christmas season, with all the preparations, the financial stress, and the anxiety of strained relationships, peace is something that we long for isn’t it?
We just heard in the children’s program about the angel announcing the coming of Jesus, when the angel spoke to the shepherds in the field, and the Bible tells us in Luke chapter 2, verse 13,
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:13-14).
The angel proclaimed peace on earth. Jesus, the Savior of whom Isaiah foretold is the Prince of peace, but I don’t believe that there was much peace in Bethlehem that night. We have this young girl named Mary who is nine months pregnant, she’s traveled all this way on a donkey, and as they enter the town they discover that there’s no place to stay. Now you can just imagine the tension, because she’s stressing out knowing that she’s going to have this baby, even if it’s in the back seat of a donkey. The baby is coming, the tension is rising, and there isn’t any place to stay, until finally Joseph finds some guy who lets them stay in his barn.
Now having said that, I don’t think this situation is nearly as peaceful and tranquil as so many artists have given us the illusion of. And yet, overshadowing this night there was the promise of peace and so what I’d like us to consider in the remainder of our time together is how we’re to define this peace that the angel proclaimed. It’s a rather interesting concept, because for example in Matthew chapter 10, Jesus said:
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
And yet, the angels came praising God and proclaiming the coming of Jesus saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Obviously, when it comes to knowing that peace we need to understand that the peace that Jesus brings is not like a tranquilizer. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but he didn’t come to bring peace as we often think of peace. The peace that Jesus brings is a completeness, a wholeness, and a contentment. The peace that Jesus brings is only experienced as we come under his Lordship. You see, Jesus is the King of kings, he’s the Lord of lords; he’s the Prince of peace, and as we come under his rule and his leadership he gives us a peace which goes beyond our understanding.
Now, can you know his peace when you’re fighting amongst yourselves, fighting with your neighbor, exasperating your children, or entertaining other sinful practices? Absolutely not! When you step outside of his will and his plan for your life you won’t experience his peace. When you’ve drifted away, forgotten him, and rebelled against him, he may remove his peace; but when you lovingly place yourself under his authority and leadership you can know his peace. Here’s what Jesus said to those who knew him, trusted him, and submitted themselves to him in John chapter 14,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…” (Now I want you to notice it’s not a peace that we can understand from our experience in this world). Jesus says, “I don’t give to you as the world gives. But don’t let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
So, Jesus gives us his peace, not a peace like the world can give us, but he gives us his peace. Jesus came so that we could have peace with God. He gave his life and was raised again, so that we could come to know God. The Bible says this in Ephesians chapter 2,
“Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:13-14).
Jesus is our peace!
Speaking of Jesus, Isaiah says this in verse seven,
“Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
The Prince of Peace came to establish his kingdom on earth. But Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t come to reign over a political kingdom. He came to reign in the hearts of his people. And when the Prince of Peace begins to reign, his people build their lives on a foundation of righteousness, they do the right thing, even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Today, Jesus wants you to put your life under new management, under his government, and that means you can say goodbye to the stress, the darkness, and the gloom of the past. You can forget the tyranny of failure and the oppression of shame as you let the Son of God begin to reign in your life today. As we close in prayer I challenge you to embrace the peace that Jesus came to give. It’s time to surrender fully and completely, to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; to let the Prince of peace begin to reign in your heart and your life.
Pastor John Talcott
Christ's Community Church
303 West Lincoln Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
December 17, 2017
Graphics, notes, and commentary from LifeChurch, Ministry Pass, Preaching Library, and PC Study Bible.
Scripture from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.