Bible Reading: John 20:19-29

Let’s continue to explore God’s peace today, remembering that before someone can be a peacemaker they must themselves be people of peace.

In John 14:27, not only did Jesus speak His peace to the disciples but, after His resurrection, He appeared to the disciples and spoke peace to them. They had all fled when Jesus was crucified and were now locked in the upper room for fear of what the Jews might do them. Suddenly, Jesus came. There is an old chorus that says:

“When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken,
When Jesus comes, those tears He wipes away;
He takes the gloom, and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.”

Jesus spoke three times to the disciples’ fear when He came to the upper room. His first words to them were, “Peace be with you” [John 19:23]. Recent events had left them in fear. Their expectations and hopes had been shattered. They did not understand what was happening. Jesus had been taken from them and been crucified and now their own lives were in danger.

The second time that Jesus spoke peace in that upper room immediately preceded the words, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” [John20:21]. He was now speaking peace to their future. Jesus would send out the disciples in exactly the same way as the Father had sent Him. How did the Father send Jesus? He was sent to lay down His life. He was sent to battle against, and defeat, an evil enemy. He was sent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. He was sent to minister under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls us in the same way as He called those first disciples and He promises His peace to us in the same way that He promised them.

The third time Jesus spoke peace in the upper room was eight days after He first appeared there [John 20:26]. The disciples were still behind shut doors, but this time Jesus spoke to Thomas and to his unbelief.

Jesus spoke peace into the hearts of His disciples. What was causing lack of peace? It was disappointment, unfulfilled expectations, ignorance, fear, doubt, and uncertainty about the future.


Are there any areas of your life that lack the peace of God – either things in the past, the present or the future? Surrender those things to Him and allow His peace to flood those areas of your life.

Why do you think that the disciples were still in the upper room eight days after Jesus had spoken peace to them and commissioned to minister in the same way that the Father had sent Him?

Why do you think that disappointment is a powerful and dangerous emotion?


Bible Reading: Isaiah 26:1-9

We saw yesterday that before a person can really be a peacemaker they must themselves be at peace. Over the next two days, we are going to look a little closer of what God’s peace is like in our hearts. God’s peace is supernatural. Let me enlarge on this by using a testimony from our own lives.

Many years ago, Esther and I were ministering together at a Christian holiday centre on the East coast of England. Before leaving to return home, someone asked if they could pray for us as we travelled home with our two young children. His prayer was unusual, “Lord, put an angel on each wheel and one on the steering wheel”.

Later that morning, we drove down a steep hill with a single lane carriageway. As we approached a bend at the bottom of the hill, we came face to face with a truck on our side of the road. It was impossible to avoid a head-on collision. I was so startled by Esther shouting out “Jesus” that I let go of the steering wheel, and somehow God’s autopilot took over. The car veered off the road and up a steep grassy bank, but did not have enough momentum to reach the top of the bank. It rolled over before landing in an upright position. The truck had passed and the collision was avoided. There was an angel on the steering wheel!

The roof of the car had caved in leaving a three-inch gap where the windscreen had been. My seat had collapsed causing me to lie unhurt across the car. Angela, aged six, banged her head on the roof of the car but apart from that was unhurt. Timothy, nearly two years old, was sitting in his child seat, and coats from the back of the car had fallen on top of him and protected him. He pulled the coats off and said, “Boo!” I asked Esther if she was okay and all she could say was, “I have such peace!”

We had all rolled over in the car, and the car was a write-off, and all that Esther could say was, “I have such peace!” That has to be supernatural! Even when the enemy attacks and everything seems to be going wrong God wants to bring us to that place of trust and peace.


Why do you think that it is important that we have God’s peace in own hearts if we are to be peacemakers?

Make a list of the things that hinder God’s peace ruling in your own heart? Now surrender those things to the Lord and invite His peace into your heart and mind.

In our reading today, God gives us a precious promise of peace [Isaiah 26:3]. What are the conditions stated in that verse for enjoying this peace?


Bible Reading: Philippians 4:2-9

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” [Matthew 5:9]

The word “peace” is used in many contexts, subject to misunderstanding and therefore needs to be clearly defined. Let’s begin with the dictionary definition of the word peace:

  1. A quiet tranquility (needs peace to work well); a mental calm; serenity (peace of mind).
  1. Freedom from or the cessation of war; freedom from civil disorder
  • keep the peace: prevent, or refrain from, strife.
  • make one’s peace: re-establish friendly relations.
  • make peace: bring about peace; reconcile.
  • Peacemaker: a person who brings about peace. A person who brings calm and quiet; re-establishes friendly relationships between people brings reconciliation.

In the Biblical sense, peace is not just the negative absence of conflict, but something very positive. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom” and it speaks of wellbeing and wholeness! In the Hebrew understanding of shalom, it means completeness, wholeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, fullness, perfectness, rest, harmony: the absence of agitation and discord. What a remarkable definition of peace and so full of meaning compared with our English word peace!

In Philippians 4:7, the Greek word for peace is the word “eir?n?” [Grk] and speaks of the calmness that a nation enjoys when it has a caring, competent and secure leader. Having this kind of peace means having tranquility in your heart that originates from the understanding that your life is truly in the hands of a loving God. It means to experience quietness in your inner self.

True peace is only found in Jesus Christ. One of His titles is the “Prince of Peace”. True is not something that the world can give you – Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you” [John 14:27]. This peace is supernatural. Philippians 4:7 says, “Which surpasses all understanding.” In simple English, “it doesn’t make sense”. This peace is not dependent upon our circumstances and it is therefore far more than the absence of strife. It is a settled rest, and a sense of security, wellbeing and rightness. According to Philippians 4:7, this peace is protective, in the sense that it guards our hearts and minds.


Why do you think it is important that someone who is a peacemaker must first himself or herself be at peace?

What words in the meaning of the word “shalom” speak particularly to you today and why is this so?