It’s that time of year, once again, when we hear people saying, “Peace on earth and good will between men.” This constant refrain in songs and conversations is uttered by many from all quarters at this time of year. However, what's interesting is that many people don't know that this quotation is actually a passage from the Bible. And even many Christians, sad to say, don't know what it really means.
People often chant this statement, “Peace on earth good will toward men” as a way of saying that we should have good will between our fellow humans during Christmas season. We should, so they imply, have “peace on earth” during this time.
Someone will robustly announce, “Peace on earth good will toward men," and all those around smile and hug one another or pat each other on the backs showing their “good will” toward one another, and their desire for “peace.” However, this sort of fabricated, momentary “peace” is not what the Bible was talking about when it recorded the words of the angles, who said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
What was actually meant by the angels is obvious if one will take the time to see the context. Their message was not “peace between men of good will” or even “peace and good will between men.” Rather it was peace on earth and good will toward men from God for those who would accept Jesus as the savior.
God’s favor is granted through Jesus. This is not simply a season of empty sentiment with a few days of “good will” and “peace” tossed in. Peace is not the absence of violence. Peace is the presence of God. Even in the most dangerous part of the world God can keep one at peace. It is Him who sent Jesus into the world, so that whoever believes in him will have the eternal peace. Jesus too promised all who express faith in Him as Savior, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’ (John 14:27).
As people we have been in a long war against God that started in the Garden of Eden when our forefather, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). The Scriptures state ‘just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned’ (Romans 5:12). God sent another Adam known to us Jesus so to release us from the conflict that brings death and destruction to enjoy peace through him.
The Scriptures state ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23). How does one gift this free gift? The answer is ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31 and other places).
If you believe in Jesus as one who came as the great Sacrifice and who gave his life for you, rose victoriously and one day he is coming again then you too can have the peace of God even when you are in places of turmoil and extreme danger.
Jesus is coming again. Yes, it was in the Middle East, the land full of violence where God brought peace to the heart of people through Jesus. At his second coming he will establish total peace. Until then, let us be reminded that as believers in Jesus we may be in dangerous places and still we can enjoy his peace in our heart and by expressing faith and sharing His love with others.
If you have not experienced this personal precious peace, why not ask God to give it to you through Jesus.