There are many names given to Jesus in the scriptures. Names that speak to what he provides. Names like savior, healer, teacher and friend. There are other names that speak to how he sustains us in our own journey. Names such as the bread of life, guide, living water and the true vine. These are all significant and good. As a matter of fact, we need all of these names so we can continue to expand our understanding and appreciation of who he is. There is no one name that fully encompasses the greatness, majesty and totality of Jesus. This is why those of us who have been redeemed are is such awe of him.
The bottom line is we will never fully understand who Jesus is in his fullness. We can experience his fullness, but wrapping our minds around it is not possible. It would be like a seahorse comprehending an ocean, thinking that in knowing the part it has seen the whole. However, the attempt is what gives rise to our joy and satisfaction in his ability to fulfill his promise to save us!
In the entirety of the bible there is one superlative that stands out to me. It rises to the surface because of the calamity and conflict that seems to emerge so frequently in our time. One of the signs of Jesus glorious return is the “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6) around the world. As every nation develops strategies and weaponry to combat terrorism, civil unrest and outright conflict, Jesus stands at the apex of history as the only one capable of bringing true and lasting peace. The prophet Isaiah declared the coming of this peacemaker when he said,
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, ESV)
What is it about Jesus that allows the scripture to speak of Jesus as the prince of peace? How can Jesus accomplish this feat?
Will he disarm the armies of the world?
Will he broker peace agreements between warring factions and feuding neighbors?
How exactly is Jesus qualified to bring about the end of this animus that seemingly exists in every culture?
Paul made an interesting statement in his admonition to the Corinthian church. Listen to how he connects Jesus character and disposition toward the world and the method we, those who follow in his steps, wage war against the enemies of God’s kingdom.
1 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6, ESV)
Peace does not take place because the weapons of warfare are removed. Peace comes when the motivation to war is excised from the human heart. Only the Gospel can do that because only the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims the message of the Prince of Peace. The longer it takes the church to realize the power it wields as bearers of the Gospel of Jesus, the longer it will take for true peace on earth to come.