Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27-28 is a pair of verses that I have not really put together before. Verse 27 (quoted above) is one I know much better. Jesus gives us peace, His peace. He says He does not give to us as the world gives. How does the world give?
- By expecting something in return
- With strings attached
- Temporarily – be prepared to give it back!
So by contrast, if Jesus does NOT give like this, the opposite must be true:
- With nothing expected in return
- No strings attached
- Permanently – no one will ask for it back!
I am soooo thankful for this, because this is about Jesus giving us His peace! That peace is of utmost value to me these days. It is that peace that has sustained me over the last two and a half years, where my life has been changed completely. Without that peace, I could not have survived.
(And as a side note, I have a beautiful new niece who is not yet three weeks old, and Peace is her middle name! What a beautiful reminder of the peace that Jesus gives.)
Now, on to the other half of the passage, verse 28:
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
It’s hard to read that phrase “If you loved me” without hearing the tone as passive-aggressive, but this is Jesus speaking so I think it is safe to assume that He was being sincere. I don’t know what kind of meaning is potentially hidden in the original language, but I double-checked several English versions and the phrase stayed the same throughout, so we will stick with it. He is encouraging His disciples to rejoice. He is going to the Father! The Father is greater than He! The fact that Jesus is leaving is good news, not sad news, and I think He’s reminding His followers of that in these words.
First peace, then encouragement to rejoice. Sounds a lot like the things I’ve been writing about for a while now, doesn’t it? Glad that the Word remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.