And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (ESV)
Peace is such a beautiful word. The absence of hostility. We know what it means by its definition, but not so much by experience. In this world that we live in we see the absence of peace. Can you think of a time in your entire life where there was not a war going on somewhere in the world? Can you think of a time when there was no hostility of some kind in your family? Even within ourselves we find a lack of peace. This is nothing new. Because of sin, mankind has been without peace ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit.
Jesus enters the picture. And who is he? The prophet Isaiah prophesied that he would come and be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). His message was the good news that the hostility between God and man could come to an end. We can have true peace with God. And this peace with God can overflow with peace offered to one another. So how was is message received?
 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)
He came to his own. His own were the Jews. He was born a Jew. When Paul says that Jesus preached peace to those who were near he is speaking of the Jews. Jesus was the Messiah. He fulfilled all of the prophecies in the Old Testament. He was the promised one. They took his message of peace and nailed him to a tree. But to the ones who did receive him, they became children of God.
How about those who were far away? That is the Gentiles. He preached peace to them as well. They were godless. They were without the covenant promises of God. They were completely without hope. And the ones who did receive him, they became children of God. An amazing aspect of our Prince of Peace is that he offers his peace to all who will receive it.
Do you have peace in your heart? Have you embraced the Prince of Peace? If you will receive him, and believe in his name, he will give you the right to become a child of God.
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