For generations, people have lived with the idea when man’s Savior came to this earth, peace would dwell amongst all men. Yet, as we look at society, we readily see this is not the case. What then are we to understand when one reads a passage like this: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:12-14, KJV).
This is complicated all the more when we note the words of the Lord to His disciples, sending them out in what is called the “limited commission”, that is, when the disciples were sent to the house of Israel only to preach the Lord’s coming to their community. He told them, in essence, “I want you to understand that you are being sent out as sheep among wolves…“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:21-22).
One can clearly see the “peace” of Luke 2, is not peace at all in Matthew 10, but as it reads in, there is much resistance. What the angels meant was not peace between people, family members, communities or nations; what the Lord meant when He sent the angel to declare was something far more important. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:1-5).
The Lord’s peace, then, is in relation to Him who is Lord over all. It is wisdom of God that each who loves the Lord to understand this and to adopt the Lord’s way of thinking in regard to life lived. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:34-37).
I can’t imagine a single person who desires conflict in life; the apostle Paul exhorted us to live peaceably with all as much as is possible (Rom. 12:18), but some can do as much as still have conflict. The Lord did; we also will. Nevertheless, let us not forget the “peace” of the Lord that surpasses all understanding is in relation to a relationship with the Lord Jesus; let us think the way He thought, walking the way He walked, and being willing to give up life for His cause, rather than our own.
This holiday season, have you lost sight of this important point?