Conflict Resolution

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”  John 14:27  KJV (Cambridge Edition)

Peace – The Greek word for “peace” is eirene.  In Classic Greek it meant, “the absence of war.”  By implication, it came to mean “health, well-being and prosperity.”  But the Greek meaning placed the word in a context of a state of being.  It was a description of external or internal conditions.  The Greek concept assumes that the natural state of the world is war.  Peace is merely a respite between battles.

When the word was used in the New Testament, the Hebrew influence changed this context.  The word took on the sense of relationships, not of conditions.  In the New Testament, the word is not primarily associated with resolution of political conflict, good health, personal well being or even prosperity.  It is associated with words like love, grace, glory, honor, righteousness and mercy.  Its opposites are also words about relationships:  anxiety, anguish, fear, confusion, division, distress.  In spite of the fact that shalom is the typical greeting of a wish for well being, the context of shalom is not primarily in the material world of possessions or assets.  Shalom begins with right relationships because right relationships determine all the other factors in life.  Fixing my retirement plan will not improve my relationship with my wife, but improving my relationship with my wife will certainly have an effect on my retirement plan.

We would like to read this verse as if Yeshua were granting peace to His followers.  But Yeshua is not telling his disciples that He is leaving them in a state of blessed euphoria.  He is not granting them a condition of happiness, prosperity and personal well being.  He says that He is leaving them His peace.  What is His peace?  This statement comes before the death and resurrection, during the conversation at the Last Supper.  Yeshua is preparing His followers for events that will appear to be the end of everything.  He will die.  Yet He tells them not to be afraid.  He is leaving them a special relationship made possible only because He is finishing His mission.  This is not peace that will some day be theirs.  It is present-moment peace.  It is the settled confidence that my relationship with God has been repaired.  It is the declaration that God has opened the door for me.  Notice that Yeshua “gives” this peace and “leaves” this peace with us.  It is not an announcement that we have accomplished something.  It is a gift left behind for us to enjoy.  Yeshua is giving His followers a going-away present.  That present is unbroken fellowship with God.  It is a present that we can have now that will last forever.  It places a safety net over our lives that nothing can take away.

Peace begins with the gift of God’s presence.  Any form of pseudo-peace, of false security or illusory tranquility built on a foundation other than right relationship with God is simply an intermission between conflicts.  That’s not what Yeshua gives, not even close.  Maybe it would be worthwhile to ask what kind of peace you are pursuing.

Topical Index: peace, eirene, shalom, war, well being, John 14:27

6 thoughts on “Conflict Resolution

  1. Frank Seekins:
    Shalom = shin-lamed-mem,
    that is:
    what destroys (shin) – the authority (lamed) – of chaos (mem).
    Wow!

    1. Oeps, I forgot a letter:
      shin-lamed-waw-mem
      what destroys – the authority – that establishes (waw) – chaos.

  2. ~ YHVH will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace ~ (Psalm 29.11)

    Far away in the depths of my spirit today
    Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm
    In celestial like strains it unceasingly falls
    O’er my soul like an infinite calm

    Peace, peace, wonderful peace
    Coming down from the Father above!
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love!

    What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace
    Buried deep in the heart of my soul
    So secure that no power can mine it away
    While the years of eternity roll!

    Peace, peace, wonderful peace
    Coming down from the Father above!
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love!

    I am resting (right now) in this wonderful peace
    Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control
    For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day
    And His glory is flooding my soul!

    Peace, peace, wonderful peace
    Coming down from the Father above!
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love!

    And I think when I rise to that city of peace
    Where the Author of peace I shall see
    That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
    In that heavenly kingdom will be

    Peace, peace, wonderful peace
    Coming down from the Father above!
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love!

    Ah, soul! are you here without comfort and rest
    Marching down the rough pathway of time?
    Make Jesus your Friend ere the shadows grow dark
    O accept of this peace so sublime!

    Peace, peace, wonderful peace
    Coming down from the Father above!
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love!

    (W. G. Cooper)

    ~ You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You ~ (Isaiah 26.3)

  3. Ah, I most often find memos from heaven here in your teachings, Skip.
    Reminders to keep my eyes on Him who has firm footing in the stormy sea –then the peace that is His has far greater power than the raging storm around me! His peace has power to bundle warmly around the inner temptations & nagging urges to be “offended”.

    Today’s word also gave an me echoing insight into “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” that the precious Holy Spirit continually whispers. I’ve wept because I’ve feared the USA would not stand with Israel, & this current administration is making my fears come true, BUT the Lord showed me that the middle letters of JerUSAlem are, as you see, usa! I don’t know what this means, but its what He highlighted for me as I grieved for them.
    Lets all pray that Netanyahu and his advisors would be like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32).

  4. ‎~ righteousness (right-relatedness) and peace (shalom/eirene) have kissed each other ~ (Psalms 85:10).

    ~ (if) your heart is not right with G-d… repent…and pray to the LORD ~ (Acts 8:21-22)

    Have your affections been nailed to the cross?
    Is your heart right with God?
    Do you count all things for Jesus but loss?
    Is your heart right with God?

    Is your heart right with God,
    Washed in the crimson flood,
    Cleansed and made holy, humble and lowly,
    Right in the sight of God?

    Have you dominion o’er self and o’er sin?
    Is your heart right with God?
    Over all evil without and within?
    Is your heart right with God?

    Is there no more condemnation for sin?
    Is thy heart right with God?
    Does Jesus rule in the temple within?
    Is thy heart right with God?

    Are all thy pow’rs under Jesus’ control?
    Is thy heart right with God?
    Does He each moment abide in thy soul?
    Is thy heart right with God?

    Is your heart right with God,
    Washed in the crimson flood,
    Cleansed and made holy, humble and lowly,
    Right in the sight of God?

    ~ Beloved, -if our heart does not condemn us, we (then) have confident boldness before God ~ (1 John 3.21)

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