By Rev. Eric Brown
I have said these things to you that in Me you may have peace.
This is how Jesus wraps up the lessons of John 15 and 16. It’s striking – Jesus has told us this week that we will have tribulation, in the last few weeks He’s told us that we will have sorrow, that we will weep and lament. Next week we’ll hear that people may very well kill us and think that they are service God. Well, good night Jesus – this doesn’t sound too peaceful!
Which is the point. All these lessons are Jesus preparing the disciples for life in the New Testament Church – in our day and age. And you know what? Life here in this world isn’t always rosy. To be sure, there are times when it is grand, when we see clearly all those wonderful first article gifts that God gives us. And then, there are times where it stinks on ice. Where our life is anything but peaceful – rather it is wretched and mean and nasty and painful.
But note what Jesus said. He didn’t say that in this world you will have peace. He tells us that there will be tribulation in this world. No, He tells us that IN HIM we have peace. Whatever goes on in the world, you still do have peace in Christ. This is true. And in fact, whatever goes on in the world, Christ’s peace is still yours, because Christ has overcome the world. The world did its worst to Christ – killed Him horrifically. Yet He rose, and He says peace be with you.
The Christian faith isn’t that if we are good God will make everything in our life better. The Christian Faith is that the world will never get the better of Jesus, because He has died and risen, and His Victory is yours, because He has given it to you in Your baptism, in the preaching of His Word. And just as the world cannot keep Christ in the grave, in Christ the world can never do anything permanent to you. You have victory in Him – and that is true peace, peace that surpasses anything that we can humanly understand right now.
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.