John 14:25-27

”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:25-27

What does it mean to experience the kind of peace that Jesus promised to give his disciples? What is this peace, this other-worldly yet in this world, peace?

We have all heard the line “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of justice (or the presence of love.)” I’m not sure who said it first but I am sure that the inner tension in this line is a direct descendant of Jesus’ words to his friends.

It is this tension – between the now and the not yet, between the way things are and the ways we hope/want/know they ought to be – that makes peace so illusive.

Often people misunderstand this promised peace. They take the quick and easy route of emotional or even physical detachment from whatever is troubling their hearts. “I don’t care.” “It doesn’t matter anyway.” But that won’t work because they DO care and it DOES matter or it wouldn’t trouble their hearts in the first place. True peace is not pretending.

I actually used to think that the only way I could know the peace that Jesus promises here is through a kind of spiritual/emotional act of “sucking it up” as coaches and teammates used to say. In the face of whatever happened to be troubling in life, I could know peace by gritting my teeth, or grinning and bearing it. I could just hold on until it got better and that was as close to peace as I could expect to know in this world.

Recovery folks call such holding on “white knuckling it.” Whatever that is, it isn’t peace.

Over the years, I have come to see this peace quite differently. I notice now more than ever that Jesus prefaces his promise of peace with the assurance of the coming Advocate, the Holy Spirit, sent to teach and to assure the disciples. Thus the peace that Jesus gives is rooted in connectedness, in relationship, that precedes and endures through the circumstances of life.

It is God’s voice whispering in our ear “You are not alone.”

Let us pray: Dear Lord, we pray that you guide us into your peace. There is much that troubles our hearts and we often feel alone. Give us your peace. Teach us that peace which is less about holding on and more about letting go, less about feeling better and more about being better, less about success and more about surrender. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


5 Responses to “John 14:25-27”

  1. Carl John Turnquist Says:

    Amen, Kerry. Thank you.

  2. Caren Says:

    Amen! Thank you, Pastor Kerry, for your thoughts on this passage and your ministry here.

  3. kirk Says:

    A Men

  4. Carolee Says:

    Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (New Living Bible)

  5. Sharon Says:

    Thank you so much for this. It is a very real blessing to me and all the folks I send devotions to, to have you writing again. God bless you for this work of dedication and love.

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