There Is Comfort in Closeness
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
You will notice that the Lord uses the word peace two times in this verse. Though it is the same Greek word, its meaning is different each time it is used. The first word peace; “Peace I leave with you,” has to do, not with the salvation experience, or that way which leads to salvation; nor does it mean that happy state of God’s children after death. It has to do rather with that tranquil state of the soul which has been assured in salvation through Christ. It is that peace which fears nothing from God and is content with whatever state one finds himself in. It is that peace which passes all understanding. Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Only our Lord Jesus can give us this peace. The peace of the world is false peace and is always shattered by circumstance.
The second usage of the word peace; “my peace I give unto you…,” is obviously speaking of that peace or quietness of soul and spirit which only comes from the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him”. Only the Lord Jesus can give us this peace. Again, the peace of the world is false peace.
Notice also that the Lord makes it very clear that His peace is not the false peace of the world; “ not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” There are several definitions of the word world in the Bible. Many Bible students do not consider this fact. Strong’s Greek dictionary gives the following list of definitions for the same Greek word “kosmos.” “1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution. 2) the arrangement of the stars. 3) the universe. 4) the circle of the earth. 5) the human family. 6) the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ. 8) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc). 8) of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47; 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19.” Obviously, the word world in our verse means “world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly, or the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc. I realize that I am getting a little technical, but it is important to understand the meaning of words in order to get a proper interpretation of a passage or verse of Scripture. Please stay with me.
In our verse, Jesus encourages His disciples by saying, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The word “trouble” means that which causes inward commotion and takes away calmness of mind. Mark records in his account, in Mark 4:39, “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” See Psalms 89:8-9 “O LORD God of hosts, who [is] a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” Jesus was telling His disciples that, though He was not going to be with them in the flesh, He would be with them in the person of the Holy Spirit.
In reading the 14th chapter of John we learn that it is very important to be obedient in order to remain close: for there is comfort in closeness. It behooves the child of God to walk as close to the Lord as possible, that we might be comforted in the midst of the crooked and perverse generation. The world is waxing worse and worse as the time of our Lord’s return draws nearer and nearer. 2 Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” [continued next week] E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.