Jesus, the Prince of Peace

Humanity has been at war practically since the beginning of time, when Cain rose up against his brother Abel and murdered him. Since then, we’ve become accustomed to violence and killing, and historically wars have regularly broken out all over the world at one time or another. The human race has brought this curse on itself, and on our own, we’re helpless to stop it. Fortunately Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is our answer.

In the Old Testament, war was a way of life. We read in Deuteronomy 20:10-17 and Joshua 6:21 about what was commonplace under the Law. However, despite all the violence, we catch early glimpses of God’s mercy. When Joshua and his men took Jericho, God commanded him to spare the life of Rahab the harlot (Joshua 6:17, 23), and Joshua obeyed.

We also read about God’s forgiveness. “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die” (Ezekiel 18:21). Here, we see another facet of His personality. The Old Testament was a foreshadowing of what was to come when the Law of Grace was established, and Jesus’ birth was prophesied well in advance of His arrival. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”  (Isaiah 9:2, 6).

Jesus is Grace in human form, and His birth was God’s way of extending the olive branch of peace to humanity. In addition to being the ultimate love gift to us, Jesus was the Father’s way of letting us know of His favor, forgiveness, and acceptance of us, His people. At first, Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand what He told them. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The true significance of what He said didn’t dawn on them until they received His Holy Spirit—the spirit of peace.

Sadly, not everyone accepts this spirit. The message is simple and straightforward, but the world can’t grasp what it really means for each of us on an individual basis. Entire nations have chosen a different path, but Jesus Himself reassures us not to fear. “You will hear about wars and reports of wars. Don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in all sorts of places” (Matthew 24:6, 7, CEB). We can see it happening now when we watch television news reports.

Some mistakenly see embracing peace as a sign of weakness, but accepting what God has done for us gives us real power. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This peace, or shalom, is available to Believers who realize that there is One much stronger and more powerful than the world. After all is said and done, the Prince of Peace, Who existed before the beginning of time, will continue to rule forever. This is something the world will never understand or accept!

— Creflo Dollar