Summary: Jesus promises us peace, and His entrance into Jerusalem demonstrates He is the prince of peace. This explores what it means for us to have Jesus’ peace
Could I get an indication of who here desires conflict, fighting, feeling uneasy?
(What no one? I thought there would be one or two)
Most people desire peace.
Having God’s peace in our hearts is something God wants all of us to have.
Listen to Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
In other words peace should dominate our lives.
Peace should dominate the way you live.
And so what is your image of peace?
Close your eyes for a moment.
And think about what is peaceful for you.
Maybe it is a beach with a moderate temperature with the waves gently rolling in.
Sun not too hot and the wind not too cold.
Perhaps it is a quiet bush walk.
Or time alone in front of a log fire with a warm coffee and a good book and calming music.
Or knowing exactly what is going to happen next.
Maybe it is simply no conflict.
What else are you thinking about?
Now these are all great images of peace.
And when we experience them we should thank God for those experiences.
It is God who gives us everything good in our lives.
But when the scriptures talks about peace
When God talks about bringing peace that is not what He is referring to.
In John 14 verse 27 Jesus says very clearly to us
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Today’s readings give us an insight to what God is talking about when he is talking about peace.
Imagine being part of a group of people who are oppressed.
Who are on the outer.
A bit like a Collingwood Football Club supporter.
People who have a foreign ruler,
with strange ideas and understanding of life.
Some of which conflict to your own values.
That is the situation the Jews of Jesus time and many years before were facing.
The Romans are ruling them.
The Roman leaders expect to be seen and treated as gods.
They live and encourage living that is not only in conflict to God’s approach to life, but is even offensive.
They have little respect for the God of the Jews.
So no wonder the Jewish people had been holding out for a leader to put them in power.
They are waiting for a Messiah.
Someone to save them.
Someone to take them from being oppressed to being respected.
Ever felt like that?
Ever felt oppressed or slightly on the outer.
As Christians we should.
In 1 Peter 2 verse 11 we are reminded that we are foreigners and strangers in this world.
Thing will constantly pop up that are not consistent with the Christian life.
And when God’s values conflict with how society believes things to be then we are being oppressed.
When you feel you can’t mention God in certain situations then you are being oppressed.
In some circles this is changing…
Some major surveys show many young people are open to talking about and exploring Jesus and spirituality.
But they also have conditions.
In short this means in our discussions with people under 45, we need to focus on Jesus.
As Christians though we should not be surprised when there is opposition to Christianity.
Because as humans our nature is to exclude God,
to live life without relying on God.
And so not only will we experience opposition with others.
We will also experience that in ourselves.
There will be conflict between what we want
and how we believe things should be
between what God desires and how He sees life.
Ever had the situation when you have had a disagreement with someone
or you have done something that someone else doesn’t agree with
or they have done something you don’t agree with.
And what happens?
They seem to avoid you or you hope you don’t bump into them.
That is exactly how we react on some issues with God.
At times we avoid God speaking to us on some issues instead we try to make excuses of why we don’t have to listen to God.
Fortunately though Christ is in us
and has been influencing us so it is not on every issue.
I want you to look at your life for a moment….
On what issues and values are you consistent with God
What issues and values in your life are consistent with the Ten Commandments,
Where are you consistent with Jesus’ instruction to make disciples
And Jesus’ instruction to love God and love others.
This is where Christ is ruling in your life.
This is where you have peace with God.