Summary: This is the final sermon in a series for Adven, Christmas, and Ephphany based on the Names of Jesus from Isaiah 9:6. As our Messiah, He is the source and giver of both personal and of world peace.
What’s in a Name?: No Jesus, No Peace; Know Jesus, Know Peace!
They are homonyms, words that sound alike but are spelled differently. You understand their meaning by the way I use them in these sentences. “No, Sheila, you can not hide those tacos, bagels, and chocolates under your bed to eat whenever you decide to do so.” “I know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour.” The two homonyms are used in a popular Christian bumper sticker, and the saying is oftentimes found on Church marquees. It has also become the title of a short devotional book. It’s a Biblical truth—“No Jesus, no peace; Know Jesus, know peace.” Today is our final message in our series from Isaiah entitled “What’s in a Name.” Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Without Jesus there is no peace; those who know Jesus have peace.
In the 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality Sandra Bullock plays FBI agent Gracie Hart, who enters a beauty pageant undercover to catch a serial bomber. In the movie the wish of all the other contestants is “world peace.”
Addison Leitch, Professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, died of cancer in 1973. Writing in the December 22, 1972, issue of Christianity Today, he made this affirmation: “Our trouble is we want the peace without the Prince.” That can never happen, for peace is rooted in the Person of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace; He alone is the giver of peace. What is the peace He gives?
The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom,” and it forms the basis of the New Testament message of peace as well. The term appears more than 200 times in the Old Testament. Basically it means calmness, quietness, freedom from anxiety, tranquility. The root meaning of shalom is “to be whole.” Shalom describes a “state of being at ease.” It pictures a condition in which people “feel at ease or comfortable with each other.”
Of the more than 200 times shalom appears in the Old Testament between fifty and sixty times it means “the absence of strive,” a testimony to a relationship between people or nations. In such contexts it describes a state of world peace. Shalom may suggest either a personal, internal peace in the heart of an individual or an external peace between people or nations. Shalom is personal, spiritual, and inward. It give us inward tranquility and harmony. It is a peace that gives us victory no matter how hard our personal lives become or how difficult the circumstances are that we face. Shalom “puts our minds at ease,” despite the stress, anxiety, tension, pressures, or worries that may come our way.
It becomes clear throughout the New Testament, especially in the letters of Paul, that Jesus is the source and giver of shalom, of peace. Continuously in the salutations and closings of his letters Paul uses such phrases as in Romans 1:7, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” or he may share a commandment and a promise with his brothers and sisters as in Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me— put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Peace is rooted and grounded in Jesus, God the Son, the Prince of Peace.