Prince of Peace

“And his name shall be called…Prince of Peace

The child whose entry into the world Isaiah prophesied approximately 700 years before Jesus of Nazareth was born, would be a Prince. Isaiah uses this title “Prince” to alert his readers of the truth, that the Messiah to come would be the son of a King, the son of the One true and sovereign ruler of all – YAHWEH God. As such, this child would rule with the authority of His Father. This is so important for humanity to understand, because Jesus, the One whom we call Messiah, has authority above everything else in existence. As God’s son, who came to earth in the humility of a human child, yet remaining fully God, Jesus has divine, ultimate authority (Heb 1:3, Col 2:9).

This Prince to come, the One who would have authority above all, would be the Prince of Peace. The word for peace in Isaiah 9:6 is shalom (derived from shalam), which communicates the concept of safety and wholeness within the mind, body or circumstances we encounter[1]. When the promised Messiah enters the world, He brings with Him a safety and completeness which pervades every part of human existence. Jesus offers peace which resides within our hearts, and which affects our lives – a peace which protects us from harm and promises good[2]. This is a reality which reaches far beyond the mere outward vision of amicable order. In a world where nearly everyone struggles with inner anxious turmoil, the promise of One who can authoritatively bring peace, is like the growing warmth of a newly lit candle, in a cold and dark room…the promise of safety and wholeness within, imparts wondrous hope.

How, we ask, is such peace possible? It was, and is only possible through the justice and righteousness of the Messiah. Isaiah 32 tells us that the One who would come, would reign in righteousness and justice, and in that time, he promises that “justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.  And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever”[3]. God is a God of justice and righteousness, it is who He is and it is how He reigns his kingdom. Through the gift of Jesus, God lit the wick of the only candle which could bring hope into the dark reality of humanity’s sinful existence. It is only through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the One who “was pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities”, the One who took upon himself the sin of humanity, that we can have peace: it is “with his wounds [that] we are healed”[4]. The book of Isaiah and the whole of Scripture points to the truth that for those who acknowledge their need of a Saviour and accept God’s gift of forgiveness, the righteousness of Jesus becomes theirs:

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool. [5]

The effect of Jesus’s righteousness received, is peace, “and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever”[6]. Living in the safety and completeness that Jesus gives means that …

  • We have peace within our hearts because we are reconciled to God and welcomed into his kingdom (Col 1:11-14).
  • We have peace with others, because we are able to love our neighbours with the help of God’s Spirit (1 Jn 4:7-21). The tools of weaponry which we are so naturally inclined to wield, are exchanged for tools of cultivation in the kingdom of God (Isa 2:4, Micah 4:3-5).
  • We have peace as we encounter the trials and suffering of a fallen world, because we are growing in the knowledge of God’s good, wise and trustworthy sovereignty (Eph 1:11, Ps 31:19, Is 40:28).

This Christmas we remember what the Messiah has done for us, we celebrate who He is, and we thank God for the opportunity to enter into the kingdom of the Prince of Peace:

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.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. [7]

[1]  Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 2, p. 115). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Greever, J. M. (2016). Peace. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3]  The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 32:16–17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. 

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 53:5). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 1:18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 32:17b). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 9:6–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Jodi Adrian currently spends her days counselling with the Biblical Counselling Group, caring for her family, co-leading CG with her husband Pastor Jer, and getting outside any chance she gets!

Categories: Culture,Sermon Series