Troubled? Try A Peace Sandwich
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
I think most people will read right past this verse. They will miss the incredible point Jesus makes. Jesus is declaring something profound: first, the progressive state of the world; second, a divine counter-response to this by Jesus. Jesus promises peace in a progressively troubled world.
You see, culture and the people of every culture will claim to be able to give or provide a path to peace. But mortal man cannot give it. It's impossible. Many will even proclaim that progressive moves will lead us down a road to more or greater peace. They will suggest that all we need to do is pay penance for past wrongs, address economic inequality, care for human rights, create environmental stability, establish mental health programs, and build global collaboration. But none of these advancements, programs, or agendas can provide this, and they never will because they fail to address a fundamental individual human issue — sin. This world is ruled by the evil one, and mankind is always progressively sinful.
But here's the deal. Jesus can address human sin. In fact, in a few hours, that is what He is going to do. He is going to address the sinful human condition. And with it, He is going to instate a new era and extend real peace. Unbelievable peace. But for this to happen, He is going to have to leave them for a while. And this is going to trouble them. But they are going to have to hang onto this promise of peace.
And as we continue reading, you'll notice the "peace sandwich" that Jesus is going to let them chew on. Because this departing message and promise of peace are going to be the greeting He gives them after the resurrection.
- "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'" — John 20:19
- "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.'" — John 20:21
- "Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.'" — John 20:26
Today, if you have trouble in this life, there is only one who can give you peace. It's Jesus. To receive it, you have to believe He provided it through the means of His death and resurrection. And then once you accept it, you have to cling to the guarantee that He has given it. And this is not rejecting the reality of this fallen world, nor is it positive self-talk that attempts to ignore the negative consequences of sin. It is accepting and believing a promised reality instituted by the King who makes good on every promise.
So if your stomach is a little upset today by all the concerns of this life, try a "peace sandwich" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today.
- How does the idea of the "peace sandwich" connect with your personal experience? Do you find yourself seeking peace through worldly means, or do you turn to the eternal promise given by Jesus?
- In reflecting on the contrasts between the peace offered by the world and the peace given by Jesus, how might you personally apply these truths in your daily life? Are there areas where you feel challenged to accept the peace that only he can provide?
DO THIS: Eat a "peace sandwich."
PRAY THIS: Lord Jesus, guide me to find peace only in you, not in the fleeting promises of this world. Help me to cling to your guarantee of peace, trusting in your unfailing love and grace, even as I face the troubles of this life.
PLAY THIS: Peace.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.