“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” (John 14:27).
We know Christ was capable of anger and at times he was moved to tears. But mostly, he led his life on earth as a man of peace. He had peace with the Father, peace in the face of temptation, peace in times of rejection and mockery. He even had peace during storms at sea, sleeping on the deck of the boat while others trembled with terror.
The disciples had heard men call their Lord a devil and religious leaders pointed to him as a fraud. Some groups even plotted to kill him. Yet, through it all, Jesus never lost his peace. No man, no religious system, no devil could rob him of his peace.
All this must have caused discussion among the disciples: “How could he sleep in a storm? What kind of peace is that? And how could he be so calm when that crowd was about to throw him over a cliff? People mock him, insult him, spit on him, but he never fights back. Nothing disturbs him.”
When Jesus promised these men the very same peace, the disciples must have looked at each other in wonder: “You mean we’re going to have the same peace that he has? This is incredible!”
Jesus said to them, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (14:27). In this same scene, Jesus promised to give the disciples the Holy Spirit. Christ explained, “The Holy Spirit will guide you through what you’re going to face. He will be your friend and he’ll enable you to experience this peace I give to you.”
Jesus had just taught these men, “I go and prepare a place for you [and] I will come again and receive you to Myself” (14:3). But Jesus’ pledge to come again didn’t lift their spirits. I can imagine Peter saying, “Who needs a fancy place to live? I need a job. I’ve got a family to feed.”
Jesus knew the disciples needed the kind of peace that would see them through any and all situations. And he is telling us, just as he told them, “You will need my peace to endure what’s coming. Get it now, before things get worse. My Holy Spirit abides in you, so ask him for my peace. He has promised to anchor your soul in every storm.”