The Promise of Peace

John 14:25-27
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 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 14:25-27 encapsulates a compelling message of hope and peace, a peace that emanates from Jesus himself and is sustained by the Holy Spirit.

     In this passage, John meditates on the concept of the Paraclete - the helper or comforter - a role initially filled by Jesus, who stood alongside his disciples as their guide and mentor. As we navigate through the complexities and difficulties of life, it's comforting to think of Jesus in this way - as our advocate, standing by our side, guiding us, and providing us wisdom. Yet, Jesus was preparing his disciples, and consequently all of us, for a new era, the era of the Holy Spirit.
The arrival of the Holy Spirit was not to replace Jesus but rather to serve as a reminder, a prompter of his teachings. It's not a substitute but an extension, recalling and confirming the teachings of Jesus. The Paraclete simply continues Jesus' revelation, not by providing new teachings, but only by taking what Jesus himself taught to a deeper level.
     Just as Jesus proclaimed his dependence on the Father, the Spirit, too, has a double-dependent nature, both on the Father and the Son. It's a beautiful representation of the triune God - the Father, Son, and Spirit working in harmony, united in their mission.

     This profound unity emphasizes four critical realities:
  1. The Holy Spirit is a gift, not something to be bought. 
  2. The presence of the Spirit doesn't disregard the historical Jesus
  3. It underscores his teachings, acting as a reminder of his words and deeds. 
  4. The Holy Spirit helps us perceive the teachings of Jesus in a fresh way, making them resonate with our specific circumstances and times.

     As we move into verse 27, Jesus provides his disciples with a farewell that transcends a mere goodbye. He leaves them with a gift - his peace, a peace far removed from the world's definition. It's not a peace achieved through conquest or domination, as characterized by the Roman Empire. Instead, it is a divine tranquility that can calm troubled hearts and soothe fear - a peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7).
     In essence, Jesus was declaring a "new order," a world where the peace of God prevails. Unlike the false cries of peace from a flawed world, the peace Jesus offers is a genuine gift. It is the peace that arises from knowing and following Jesus, from the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, and the recognition of God's constant love and guidance.
     In a world that seems to teeter on the brink of chaos, with an escalating crescendo of frustration, anger, violence, and death, Jesus' peace is more than a balm; it's transformative. It is a reminder to us all that even amidst turmoil, peace is possible - a peace that stems from Jesus and echoes through eternity via the Holy Spirit.
     The challenge for us, as followers of Christ, is to embrace this peace, to let it seep into our lives, transforming us from within. It is to continually be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, recalling the teachings of Jesus, and living out those teachings in our daily lives. And in doing so, we might just find ourselves becoming agents of Jesus' peace, extending this extraordinary gift to those around us, thereby creating ripples of divine peace in an often turbulent world.

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