Prince of Peace
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’ (Mark 4:36-41).
The world is growing tempestuous. Entire cities are engulfed with mob violence. Good is called evil and evil is called good. Individuals of ill-repute continue to gain wealth and power. This may leave us feeling a lot like the disciples: afraid and wondering where our Teacher is.
Isaiah 9:6 prophesies concerning our Teacher:
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah denotes the Messiah as Prince of Peace. The word “Prince” used here is rendered “chief” in Genesis 40:2. It gives the idea of authority committed to one at the behest of a greater. Christ speaks of himself in John 5:22, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed judgment to the Son.” Again, he says in John 14:10:
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
As Prince of Peace, then, we understand that Christ was entrusted with peace from God to share with man.
Christ speaks of sharing this peace in John 16:33:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
While acknowledging trouble in this world, He triumphantly expresses having overcome the world. What did it matter, then, if the world brought trial? There was something greater. The flesh may bring disease, failure, grief, or loss. Christ overcame all, and in Him you too have overcome the world. John writes in 1 John 4:4, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.” Therefore, let us be at peace in this world, knowing that we have overcome through Christ and are now more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Paul describes the peace that comes through Christ in Ephesians 2:13-15:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”
Through Christ we are all one family. He took the Gentiles, who were not God’s people, and grafted them into the family tree, thus making peace with God for all. Verse 16 continues, “and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Christ’s death took the discord away, enabling all to enjoy peace with God. Isaiah 53:5 remarks, “the chastisement for our peace was upon Him.”
This peace with God means that we now have a means to peace with one another. It doesn’t come through political party affiliation or philosophical ideologies. It comes from abiding together in one body in Christ. Isaiah 11:6-9 presents nine incredible scenes:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.”
These are unthinkable scenes of peace. Verse 9 concludes, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” We have been reconciled to God, and therefore we belong to a kingdom which stands for peace. Consider brethren in North and South Korea praying for each other. Consider brethren in Russia and Ukraine praising God together. Consider voters on either side of politics in the USA bearing with one another in love. God’s peace extends beyond physical borders or political spectrums. God’s kingdom breaks down barriers of nation, race, and tongue, making all equal as sons of God.
Paul concludes in Ephesians 2:19-20:
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.”
We are all one in Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Let us, therefore, fix our eyes upon the Prince of Peace, and let the boisterous waves of this world fall harmlessly at our feet.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).