If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Then Why is There Still so Much Turmoil?
by Brian Chilton
If you are like me, you love the Christmas classics that come on television every December. One of my favorite Christmas shows is Charles Schultz’s Merry Christmas Charlie Brown! The pivotal point of the cartoon is when Charlie Brown shouts out, “Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?” Linus, carrying his ever trusted blanket, then begins a monologue describing Christmas quoting Luke 2:8-14.
As Linus reads from Luke’s Gospel, one is left with the sense of peace as the angels proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14, NKJV). The Bible greatly marks the Messiah with the sense of peace. Isaiah describes the Messiah as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
But many will ask, “If Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace,’ then why is it that the world remains so violent and chaotic?” Shouldn’t the Prince of Peace have brought peace to the earth and goodwill to all humanity? Does this discredit Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah? No! Why? For the three reasons given below.
Jesus’ statement on a “sword.”
Many in Jesus’ day thought that the Messiah would come to bring peace on earth. However, Jesus confronts this idea in saying, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). NT scholar Craig Keener notes that
“It was normally believed that there would be great suffering before the end, and that the Messiah would lead his people in a triumphant war, followed by a time of peace. Jesus assures his listeners that the promised era of peace is yet some time off and goes on to explain the nature of the current sufferings and conflict” (Keener 1993, 74).
Jesus notes the division that would occur in following him. Even in one’s family, a person may find a commitment to Christ by one and rejection by another. Jesus concludes in saying that “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
The point is: due to the nature of Christ’s work, peace will not be brought to earth until a later time. However, the work that Christ would bring about ultimate peace. But does this mean that one cannot experience peace in the here and now?…
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