Summary: Jesus demonstrates how we can receive inner peace within our heart.
Text: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubles, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Jesus came into this world as a peaceful little baby. He probably looked like any other baby. As he grew he was able to work in the carpenter shop with his father. He played with other boys and girls just as our young people do today.
We don’t recall reading about him causing any problems or getting into trouble as a youngster. One time he did stay in the temple when his mother and father started back home, but he did not really create trouble for anyone. His parents were worried and did not understand why he did this; nevertheless, Jesus did obey his Heavenly Father.
Jesus was on a mission to bring peace to the people of the world and this peace would come to individuals through a change of heart. The Jewish people were waiting for their Messiah who they thought would come in as a rough and tough ruler who would put the Romans in their place. God’s plan was to change people from the inside out.
I. Jesus was a Teacher.
During Jesus’ three years of public ministry, he brought to light the way to have inner peace. Large crowds followed him because they were eager to hear what he had to say. People had never heard such great preaching or witnessed such great healing that was taking place among the people.
Scripture says, “News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24).
Jesus was preaching the “Good News” to those people who wanted to hear it. Although, large crowds gathered around and followed him wherever he went, there were some who did not believe him and were upset over what they were hearing. Some of the people were looking for a military-type leader instead of a servant-type leader.
Many of the Jewish leaders did not understand Jesus’ message expressed in the “Sermon on the Mount.” It was natural for people to think about pride in themselves instead of being poor in spirit. People did not understand or did not want to understand that self-dependence brings about spiritual poverty. God created each one of us and he wants us to depend on him and receive the grace he has for us.
The world was not concerned about mourning that Jesus talked about. People thought of mourning as happening when someone dies or some misfortune occurs. It never occurred to them that mourning for forgiveness of their sins is what Jesus was referring. They were more concerned about attaining happiness whatever way they could. It did not matter who was hurt, stepped-on, or taken advantage of, as long as those responsible were happy.
Much of what went on in Jesus’ day goes on today. Many people of today are concerned about power. The thought of power seems to be something that builds people up or inflates their ego and makes them feel more important than anyone else. Jesus talked about meekness or humbleness, or gentleness. He not only talked about these things, but he practiced them.
Jesus was trying to teach people then and he is trying to teach people toady how to have peace in their lives. There are many people today who struggle to attain power by climbing the corporate ladder. Some believe that the higher position they have the more power they have. People in the entertainment world believe that the more popular they are, the more movies they make, the more CD’s they make the more power they have.
This all sounds great, but there is usually no peace of mind because popularity completely changes a person’s life. Well known or popular people can’t go out and walk down the street like you and me, or they can’t go out to a restaurant or even to church like we can, because their popularity puts their lives in jeopardy. These people hire body guards to protect themselves and their families from those who have the desire to cause them harm.
I am not saying it is not good to be popular or widely known, but what I am saying is that this does not always bring about inner peace. Jesus had a wide following, but as we all know, some of his followers were out to destroy him.
Jesus taught that murder and adultery begin in the heart. A heart that is angry does not have peace and will lead one to destruction. Peace that has been replaced by greed and envy could lead one to the destruction of another person’s life. A self-centered heart, a jealous heart, or a heart full of self-pity could lead one to the act of adultery. We read about murders and broken relationships daily in the newspaper.