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Peace rules the day, where reason rules the mind. - William Collins

Jesus on Peace
Updated: 01/04/2020

What does Jesus mean by this word "peace"? Does he ever promise peace in this world? If so, did he ever mean it to be more than partial or temporary. Did the word sometimes just mean "good will"? See if and/or how these questions are answered below.

John 14:25-31  "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you.  But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send on my authority, that one will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.  Peace I leave to you; my peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you.  Let not your mind be troubled, nor let it be afraid.  you understood me say to you, 'I go away, and I come to you.'  If you loved me, you would have rejoiced BECAUSE I said I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

Commentary: What Jesus left to them at this point is partial peace, potentially available to them IF they would listen and understand.

John 16: His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any analogy!  Now we know that you understand all things, and no one needs to question you; by this we believe that you came from God."  Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?  Behold! The time is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man on his own, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  I have said these things to you, that within me you may have peace.  In the world you have trouble; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."


John 20:19-25  It being evening on that day, the first day of the Sabbath holidays, and the doors being locked where the disciples were gathered, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and says to them, "Peace be with you."  Upon saying this, he showed them his hands and his side.  Therefore, seeing the Master, the disciples rejoiced.  Then Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, I also send you."  And having said this, he filled them with spirit [good, strong attitude or enthusiasm], and said to them, "Grasp the Real Meaning.  If you dismiss any sins [wrong concepts], let them be dismissed. If you have mastered any sins [wrong concepts], let them be mastered."

Commentary: Here Jesus is saying something equivalent to "calm down".

John 20:26-31  After eight days, again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them.  The doors having been locked, Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you. "  Then he says to Thomas, "Bring your finger here, and see my hands; and bring and place your hand on my side; don't become unbelieving, but believing."  Thomas answered and said to him, "My Master and my God!"  Jesus says to him, "Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed.  Blessed are those not seeing, yet choosing to believe."

Commentary: Here again Jesus is saying something equivalent to "calm down".

Mark 5:25-34  Matthew 9:20-22  Luke 8:43-48 And right then, Jesus, knowing within himself that out of him power had gone forth, turning to the crowd, said, "Who touched my garments?"  And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you and you say, 'Who touched me?'"  And he looked around to see the one having done this.  However, the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.  And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, and be free of your problem."

Commentary: Here Jesus is saying to go untroubled by this problem.

Matthew 10:5-15  Mark 6:7-13  Luke 9:1-6 "And into whatever city or village you enter, ask who is worthy in it, and remain there until you depart.  Upon entering the house, greet it; and if indeed the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  And whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, going out of that city or house, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.  Truly, I say to you, it shall be more bearable on the day of justice for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "good will"

Mark 9:50  Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "unity"

Luke 10:1-6  After these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them before his presence, two by two, into every town and place where he was about to come.  He then said to them, "Indeed the harvest is plentiful, but the workers few; pray therefore of the Lord of the harvest, that he send out workers into his harvest.  Go!  Behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.  Do not carry a purse, nor a moneybag, nor sandals; and greet no one on the way.  And into whatever house you may enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!'  And indeed, if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if not so, it shall return on you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking with them, for the worker is worthy of his pay.  Do not move from house to house.

Commentary: The word "peace" as used in this passage should be read as "good will".

Matthew 12:29  Mark 3:26,27  Luke 11:14-22 
     "When the strong man, being armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are in peace.  How can anyone enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods, if he does not first bind the strong man?  When one stronger than he overcomes him and takes away his armor on which he relied and disperses his arms, THEN he may plunder his house."

Commentary: Here Jesus is using this word to mean "safe and secure".

Matthew 10:34-39  "Do not think that I have come to cast peace on the earth; I came not to cast peace, but a sword.  For I came to dissever a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother, and a daughter‑in‑law from her mother‑in‑law; a man's <spiritual> enemies can be those of his own household.  The one loving father or mother above me is not worthy of me; and the one loving son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; he who does not pull up his tethering stake and follow me is not worthy of me.  He finding his psyche <usual life> will lose it, but he losing his psyche <usual life> on my account will find it."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "lack of trouble".

Luke 12:49-59  "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and how much I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is finished! Do you think that I came to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for from now on in one house there will be five having been divided, three against two and two against three will be divided; father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother‑in‑law against her daughter‑in‑law and daughter‑in‑law against her mother‑in‑law."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "lack of trouble or unity".

Luke 14:25-33  Many crowds came together with him; and turning he said to them, "If any one comes to me and does not disregard his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, besides even his own psyche <usual lifestyle>, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not pull up his tethering stake and follow after me, he cannot be my disciple.
    "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first, sitting down, count the cost, whether he has enough to finish?  Else in laying a foundation, and not having enough assets to completely finish, those seeing begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and had not the assets to finish.'  Or what king, going to attack another king in war, does not first sit and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet those with twenty thousand coming against him?  And if not, yet with him a great way off, sending a delegation, he asks terms of peace.  So therefore, everyone of you who does not abandon all his possessions is not able to be my disciple."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "lack of warfare", nowhere near the meaning of inner calmness,

Luke 19:41-44  As he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you only knew, even you, at least even in this your day, the things for your peace, but now are hidden from your eyes!  For the days will come upon you, and your enemies will raise up a rampart about you and will surround you, and will keep you in on all sides, and raze you and your children within you, and will not leave in you stone upon stone, because you did not know the time of your visitation."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" could cover the widest range of meaning.

Luke 7:36-50  Mark 14:3-9  Matthew 26:6-13 
     Then turning to the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman?  I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet.  But she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You gave me no kiss, but since I entered she did not cease to fervently kiss my feet.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she with ointment anointed my feet.  For this reason I tell you, her many sins are forgiven, for she loved much; but he loves little to whom little is forgiven."
     And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  Then those reclining with him began to say to themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?"  And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means of be not "anxious".

Luke 24:36-43  With them saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and says, "Peace to you."  But being startled and filled with fear, they supposed they saw a ghost.  And he said to them, "Why are you troubled?  Why do wonderings rise in your hearts?  See my hands and my feet, that I am myself; touch me, and see; for a ghost has not flesh and bones as you see me having."  Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  While they were still disbelieving from joy and wonder, he said to them, "Have you any food here?"  So they handed him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb.  Receiving it among them, he ate.

Commentary: Here again Jesus is saying something equivalent to "calm down"

Thomas 16. Jesus said, "Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth; fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house; three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary <as one, integrated and united>."

Commentary: Here the word "peace" means "lack of trouble or unity"

Thomas 48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in this one house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move away,' and it will move away." See: Thomas 106, Matthew 17:20, 18:18-20, 21:20-22, Mark 11:20-26, Lk 17:5,6

Commentary: Making peace in this verse should be construed as coming into unity, something that Jesus asked for in the most profound way in his prayer in John 17.

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