Vol. 18, No. 49 – December 29, 2019
As we celebrate this Christmas, I wanted to remind you of a great lesson our Lord taught in our current passage of study, Luke 10:5-6. In that study our Lord is sending out 70/72 disciples ahead of Him to prepare the way for His arrival. This means they went before Him to various cities to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a.k.a., “the Kingdom of God.” As the disciples did this, they brought the message of “peace” to the people of the cities they visited, which meant they brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As John 14:27; 16:33, tell us, this peace is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The peace that Jesus provides for every member of the human race has many facets, but the two main things it provides are, 1) That we can have peace in our relationship with God through the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, because He paid for our sins, and 2) Peace within our souls daily, Psa 55:18; Col 1:20.
Psa 55:18, “He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, for they are many who strive with me.”
Col 1:20, “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His Cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
First, this means that those who believe in Jesus as their Savior have their sins paid for and are entered into an eternal relationship with God, which results in salvation and living in heaven with Him forever.
Secondly, Jesus’ peace means peace within our own souls. Rather than having the cares and worries of this life eating away at our souls, coupled with the turmoil that comes from sin, we have peace within, which means a relaxed mental attitude along with contentment in all situations and joy; the perfect happiness of God within our souls.
Therefore, with the two main aspects of the peace that God provides for all of mankind, (reconciliation with God that brings salvation, eternal life, and entrance into the Kingdom of God, along with inner peace and happiness), He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world so that mankind could have the dual effects of that peace. But, in order to accomplish that. Jesus had to go to the Cross and pay the penalty for our sins, because sin is the thing that destroyed and continues to destroy peace.
That was the message Jesus brought during His First Advent and that is the message He wanted His disciples to share with the people of Israel when He sent out the 70/72. Therefore, that is the back drop to what our Lord is saying in Luke 10:5-6, when he told His disciples to first say, “Peace be to this house.” It meant to share the gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, to that house with the result that if they would believe they would gain that peace, “the Kingdom of God,” and the internal peace that comes with a right relationship with God. That is why in vs. 9b, our Lord instructed the disciples to tell those who believed, “And say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’.”
Yet in vs. 11b, when addressing the unbelievers, those who rejected their message, it drops the personal pronoun “to you,” in the earliest texts and simply says, “the Kingdom of God has come near.” In the first case, the believer has received the Kingdom / salvation, as signified in the personal pronoun. In the second case, the unbeliever has not, but yet it was presented to them. Therefore, there is no personal pronoun, because the unbeliever does not receive the Kingdom of God. It just came near to them through its presentation by the disciples.
As such, this is the message of the ambassador for Jesus Christ today, which is every believer; every one of us here today in the Church. Therefore, this is our message that we need to bring to those who do not know Jesus Christ when we witness to them and evangelize.
2 Cor 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
A quick survey in the Gospel of Luke on the use of the word “peace,” EIRENE, the equivalent to the Hebrew SHALOM, tells us that everything Jesus did in His First Advent was to bring the Peace of God to man. As such, we see that God’s peace also means harmony, tranquility, health, and prosperity in our lives, as the word “peace” signals that the blessings of the Lord flow to the people.
In Luke 1:79, Zachariah’s prophecy regarding the coming of the Lord that quotes from Isa 9:2, “To shine upon those who sit in darkness (sin and unbelief) and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
In Luke 2:13-14, the announcement by the angel of the Lord to the shepherds in the field that Jesus the Savior was born in Bethlehem, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
That verse is our Christmas message. The message announced to the shepherds out in the fields, (who represent all of us who were lost in the world without faith and hope), that the Savior had been born in Bethlehem who would bring salvation and peace to the world.
Then, in Luke 2:29-32, Simeon’s proclamation upon seeing the Christ child when He was eight days old, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; 30For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
In Luke 7:50, when Jesus was blessing the faithful woman who anointed His feet He said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
In Luke 8:48, to the woman suffering 12 years with hemorrhaging Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
So the first five times, (the number of grace), we see the word “peace” in Luke’s Gospel, it tells of the giving of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to the World, so that the world could have peace with God and peace within their souls, as this peace is achieved by overcoming sin, as particularly depicted in the last two accounts.
Now in Luke 10:5-6, we see Jesus commissioning evangelists to the mission field and instructing them, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.”
Now, our Lord gives that message of peace to His disciples, so that they can share it with others with the result of having peace with God and peace within for those who would believe.
Later in Luke 19:38-42, we will see the people praising Jesus as Savior as He entered Jerusalem so He could go to the Cross and pay for our sins, Luke 19:38, “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD (Psa 118:26); Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Luke 19:42, Jesus replied weeping for the people, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.”
Even though the people were praise Jesus’ as the bringer of this peace, He knew that many of them did truly not believe in Him as their Savior, therefore He wept for the people, because “the things which make for peace,” are Jesus’ crucifixion for our sins and their faith in Him and His completed work, Eph 2:14-15.
Eph 2:14-15, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”
The “enmity” in this verse, speaks to the Law of the OT. But in fact, the Law told people what sin was, therefore, the enmity is sin. And, as we have stated, Jesus paid for our sins upon the Cross. Jesus paying for our sins and the resultant peace the believer receives by believing in Him, was foretold hundreds of years before He came, Isa 9:6; Micah 5:4-5, where the “Lord of Peace,” 2 Thes 3:16, is also called the “Prince of Peace.”
Isa 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Micah 5:4-5a, “And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. 5This One will be our peace.”
Likewise, it was prophesied that in His Second Advent, He would rule as the Prince of Peace, Zech 6:13.
Zech 6:13, “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices, (King and Priest).”
Therefore, this peace comes from: The Prince of Peace, Isa 9:6, who is our Peace Maker, Col 1:20, who is the Lord of Peace, 2 Thes 3:16. And this peace means the peace of salvation that includes eternal life with God in heaven and our inner contentment, happiness, and joy, as peace with God results in peace of mind too.
The Gospel is a peace-bringing power, in the midst of a raging warfare with sin. It brings us peace first, and then it says to us, “now, having peace in your own heart, go out and fight to keep it and give it to others.” This is the message Jesus wanted the disciples to bring to the various cities along His journey, which they did. As they presented the Gospel of Peace, for everyone who believed, peace with God “rested on them,” vs. 6, because their sins would be paid for and they were saved. Now, they could have peace within as they walked with Jesus in their new relationship with God.
Finally, as the old saying goes, No God – No Peace; Know God – Know Peace!
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019
In Luke 10:5-6, we have been noting what it says about greeting people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, where in vs. 5-6, it reads, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him…”
In other words, we are to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, which brings true and everlasting peace into someone’s life. Now, to bring that peace to others, we must first have it in our lives. To have it in our lives, we must have Jesus in our lives, because He is the “Prince of Peace,” the “Lord of Peace,” who came to this world to bring us His peace and the Peace of the Father.
Rom 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ came into this world to bring us His peace, which is the peace of God. This is the true Christmas story. He came to this world to bring us peace. That is why Luke also records the birth announcement of our Lord in Luke 2:1-20.
It is fascinating that the praise the Angels proclaimed regarding the birth of Christ to the shepherds, Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of God’s good pleasure,” is the same praise the people made when Jesus entered Jerusalem so that He could go to the Cross and pay for our sins, Luke 19:38, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord (Psa 118:26); Peace in heaven and glory to God in the highest!” As Matthew records, “Hosanna in the highest,” a Messianic cry with eschatological overtones, where Hosanna means, “save now,” cf, Zech 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
“Peace” with God is the grand necessity of a fallen world. To bring this condition was the prime errand of the Savior and why He came to earth. The peace that Jesus brought to mankind starting with His birth, Luke 1:79, was won at the Cross resulting in peace with God in heaven, because the great barrier of sin had been taken care of and removed, especially for those who believe.
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jer 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for peace (SHALOM) and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
Eph 2:17, “And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.”
The Gospel is a peace-bringing power, in the midst of the great angelic warfare that we are a part of. It first brings peace to us…
Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Col 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
… and then it says to us, “Now, having peace in your own heart, go out and fight to keep it and give it to others.” That is why Jesus had His disciples first bring the message of peace to every household they would encounter. They had the gospel themselves, being believers in Jesus
Christ, now they were to bring that gospel of peace to others.
James 3:18, “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Prov 16:7, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Heb 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Rom 14:19, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
Therefore, our Lord, being God Himself, was born as a man, so that He could be like us, yet without sin of His own. Being in our likeness, He could then go to the Cross and take on every sin we would ever commit and be judged for those sins. Being judged for our sins, He received the penalty for our sins. Having received the penalty for our sins, God the Father was propitiated, (perfectly satisfied with Jesus’ payment for our sins). Now, salvation could be given to all of mankind, and whoever would believe in Him would be saved and receive forgiveness of their sins.
This also resulted in many blessings; the most important of all was our reconciliation / peace with God the Father and Him giving us eternal life. As such, we now have an eternal relationship with God and we will live with Him in heaven forever. And finally, knowing all of this, we are to share the message of peace with others.
So, as you celebrate this Christmas with family and friends, please keep at the forefront of your mind what Jesus has done for you personally, by being your Savior, and the great relationship with God you have been blessed with. Then, go out and share that with others.
Heb13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-138 & 19-139
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!