Our world talks about peace. We cannot recall a time when there have not been peace talks going on somewhere. Wars end when peace is declared, but is peace simply a cessation of hostilities?

No it is not, well not from the divine perspective. In Luke 19 we read how Jesus came down the mount of Olives (verse 37) and “the whole multitude of his disciples (not just the 12) began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord … And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes’”.

The challenge is to know “the things that make for peace” – real peace. The angels sang to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is well pleased” (2:14). (The KJV translation does not render the Greek adequately when it says “… on earth peace, goodwill toward men”.)

If the Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah there would have been real peace, for with God-given power he could have humbled the nations and reigned. That is still to happen, that is the hope for the world.

Our thoughts went back to Luke 1 and the prophecy of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, that “you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways … to guide our feet into the way of peace” (verse 79). Those who responded to John’s message became followers of Jesus and were taught “the way of peace”. The followers of Jesus taught that way of peace after he ascended to heaven.

Ponder what Paul wrote to the Philippians, “… Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6,7). Only the Scriptures show us “the way of peace” and “the things that make for peace”.