What Did Jesus Mean by 'My Peace I Give to You'?

The difference in peace for a believer and a nonbeliever is where they acquire their peace. The nonbeliever is dependent on worldly methods to find peace. They depend on themselves or the resources around them. However, believers can find a peace that is not from the world but from God.

peaceful stairway up hill at beach at sunset

"My peace I give you." We've heard this phrase from Jesus before, but what does Jesus' peace look like exactly? And how does he give it to us?

Peace. The word evokes a sense of calm, serenity, a feeling that everything works out. This single word carries significant meaning for believers and nonbelievers alike. An argument could be made that though two people may not share the same faith, both desire peace. In this way, peace appears to be ingrained in the human condition.

We see this day-to-day in a society where people advocate for social change - eliminating poverty, violence, or slavery. All of these problems render peace impossible, thus we seek to solve them. The more issues we solve, the more we can live at peace. Sometimes we even seek peace without solving problems. We call this distraction. For those not facing difficulties like poverty, violence, or slavery, we often attempt to find peace from more mundane stresses such as a long workday or family drama. Our peace may come in the form of a television series, eating food, or reading a book.

This is a peace we can find in the world and this peace is always temporary. Those advocating for social change will always have a cause that is never complete. For others who prefer the method of distraction, the stressor is never fixed. Even when we solve one problem, another problem always arises (Job 5:7). Does this mean that peace is unattainable, a trait humanity longs for, but is never able to find?

The difference in peace for a believer and a nonbeliever is where they acquire their peace. The nonbeliever is dependent on worldly methods to find peace. They depend on themselves or the resources around them. However, believers can find a peace that is not from the world but from God. Where earthly peace depends upon circumstances and individual ability, godly peace does not.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” (John 14:27)

Jesus was no stranger to the idea of peace. He understood humanity’s desire, even the need for peace during our lifetime. He foretold that many troubles would plague humanity, but He also offered hope (John 16:33). Christians today can be reassured that though worldly peace is temporary, the peace God offers believers is eternal and transcends our circumstances.

What Did Jesus Mean by 'My Peace I Give to You'?

Chapter 14 in the Book of John is one place Scripture draws a contrast between worldly peace and godly peace. In this chapter specifically, we read a recounting of Jesus’ teaching delivered by the disciple John. Throughout the passage, Jesus gives his followers many reassurances. Each reassurance offers commentary on the nature of this divine peace.

The first reassurance is of their place in Heaven. He tells them that there are many rooms for them and that one day He will return to take them (John 14:2-3). After being asked a question by the disciple Thomas (often referred to as doubting Thomas), Jesus goes on to say one of His most widely quoted verses, which is another reassurance.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

Next, Jesus tells Philip that because they have seen Him they have seen God because God is in Him and He in God (John 14:10). This is further proof that Jesus’  peace transcends that of the world. Also important to obtaining peace, Jesus admonishes His followers on how to pray. If they pray in His name - praying using His name and for Christ-related things - He will answer their prayers (John 14:13-14). Further into the chapter, Jesus goes on to talk more directly about peace. As He prepares them for what would be done at Calvary, Jesus assures them that He is leaving his peace with them.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” (John 14:27)

The Savior makes direct mention of fear. With His peace, there is no reason for fear. All this is spoken in reassurance before what was predestined occurred. One reason why Jesus established so much reassurance with His disciples may have been to highlight the love He had for them. They do not have to live life afraid because of all Jesus had done for them and would continue to do for them in the future. This helps us understand that Jesus wanted His disciples to be certain. He wanted them to be certain that His peace is different from the world. The best way for Christians today to understand the peace Jesus gives is to know what Scripture says about peace.

What Kind of Peace Does Jesus Give?

Jesus gives us peace beyond circumstances.

“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

In life, everyone goes through seasons. Exactly as discussed in Ecclesiastes 3, there will be periods of life that are blissful and other moments that are dreadful. The divine peace we get from our Lord and Savior goes beyond what season we are in. This means that His peace is always available to us. When Jesus left His peace for His early disciples, He did not tell them that such peace had limited duration. There is no limit. Therefore, though we may not always feel at peace within ourselves, peace from Jesus is always available to us. We just have to accept. Jesus offers peace through faith.

“You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Jesus admonished His disciples on how to pray. Those same teachings are important for us today. We need to know how to pray to God and why we pray. The greater our awareness of the Lord, the more we will see Him in our circumstances. If we recognize God as greater than whatever problem we face, then we can replace potential fear with certain faith. Jesus’ peace promises that everything works out.

“Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” (Psalm 126:5)

The words here echo those spoken by Jesus at Mount Sinai (Matthew 5:4). As Christians, we know that everything eventually works out either in this lifetime or the next. Sometimes we lose our sense of peace because we focus on the difficulties of the present moment. If we can take Jesus’ words to heart, then we can rest assured that any mourning we do in this life will not be for waste. A happy ending is promised.

How Does Jesus' Peace Help Us Not Be Afraid?

We understand that Jesus has commanded us to not be afraid, but how do we achieve this feat? The way we replace fear with peace is by trusting in Jesus. Much like He spoke to His disciples in John 14:27, we too do not have a genuine reason to be afraid, not when considering the full scope of Jesus’ character. We have even less reason when considering Jesus’ love for us. Like His disciples, we don’t know our future, but we know who is in control of the future. That’s God. Trusting in Scripture provides us with all the reasons we need not be afraid. We simply have to make that choice.

This is not an easy choice. Much like desiring peace is natural to humanity, so are the problems we face. When we lean onto God’s peace, we can rest assured that all situations will work out. In fact, all situations will work out for our benefit (Romans 8:28). If God’s deliverance either in life or death (salvation) is guaranteed, then what reason do we have to be afraid? Peace from God eliminates fear. Peace from God endures. Peace from God is not contingent upon circumstances.

With all this in mind, we can not only embrace God’s peace but all the more embrace His love.

“When I observe your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you set in place,
what is a human being that you remember him,
a son of man that you look after him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

Further Reading

4 Ways to 'Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled' & What This Bible Verse Really Means

Source:
OverviewBible.com

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/moisseyev


headshot of author Aaron BrownAaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.

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