John 14:27-31 - The Source of Peace, Joy, and Security
- I was reading about the screech owl, which unlike our spotted owl, resides in cities and towns on the East Coast. They’re very productive, but little bugs and maggots can infect and devastate their entire population. To counteract the maggots and bugs, the screech owl ingeniously gathers little snakes called blind snakes and takes them to his nest. The blind snake just so happens to love maggots, larvae, and little bugs, so he lives inside the nest along with the screech owl. They dwell together—mutually beneficial to each other.
Who taught the screech owl to go after that particular snake and drop it in the tree trunk in which he is building his nest? I know owls are wise, but they’re not that smart! Such understanding was programmed into the owl by an ingenious Master Maker, a Creator.
Consider also the Alaskan blackfish.
The Alaskan blackfish, which lives in ponds and streams that freeze over every winter, has the amazing ability to freeze right along with the pond or stream for up to forty-five minutes. Then he thaws out and continues with his life. These fish have been given the ability to go with the flow in a remarkable way!
Finally, consider the spider.
The spider spins a web made of a sticky substance that traps insects and bugs for his dinner. Why isn’t the spider caught in his own web? Ingeniously built into his little spider feet are tiny oil glands that secrete a minuscule amount of oil, allowing him to move over his own web without being caught.
What is my point? God has built in each one of these creatures its own way of making it through some sticky situations.
A. The source of peace (v.27).
Peace is a beautiful word, isn’t it? Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus gave us His peace. First Corinthians 7:15 says that “God has called us to peace.” Philippians 4:7 says to “let the peace of God rule your heart.” Second Corinthians 13:11 says to “live in peace.” First Thessalonians 5:13 says to “be at peace among yourselves.”
Whereas joy is an outward excitement, peace is an inward contentment that senses everything is under control. However, if there is sin in your life, you won’t experience peace. But when your life is cleansed of sin and you’re walking in the Spirit, you’ll have peace. Never allow anyone or anything to take away your peace.
1. “Not as the world gives, do I give to you…” (v.27a).
a) The peace of the world (v.27a).
(1) This is a peace of escapism, of avoiding trouble, of refusing to face things, of unreality as well as the absence of trouble or the denial of problems.
(2) It’s a peace that is sought through pleasure, satisfaction, and contentment. According to the Scriptures, who is the one that is influencing the way the world is going?
John says in his first epistle that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19, NKJV)
Jesus called him “the ruler of this world” (Jn12:31)
But before Jesus was arrested He said that "the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30, NKJV). We will talk a little more about this later, however…
(3) There was nothing in Jesus that the devil could use to draw Him into sin. However, when a believer is tempted to seek peace through pleasure, satisfaction and contentment in the here and now, that is when we fall.
Remember when the devil took Jesus up on a “high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”" (Matthew 4:8-10, NKJV)
(4) Many will think that getting things here and now will give them peace.
(a) Example of “buy now, pay nothing till 2007”
(b) Example, “How much is enough, a little more”
This is why Jesus said "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:35, NASB95)
(c) Jacob (Genesis 25)
2. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” (v.27b).
a) The peace of Christ and of God (v.27b cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:16).
(1) 1st, It is Divine – “May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace” (2Thess3:16)
(a) The Lord of peace is the One who gives it. Christian peace comes personally from Him and is the very essence of His nature.
(b) To put it simply, peace is an attribute of God.
(i) If I asked you to list the attributes of God, you would probably list these ones: His love, grace, mercy, justice, holiness, wisdom, truth, omnipotence, immutability, and immortality.
(ii) But do you ever think of God as being characterized by peace? In fact, He is peace. Whatever it is that He gives us He has and He is. There is no lack of perfect peace in His being.
(c) God lives in perfect calm and contentment. Why?
(i) Because He’s in charge of everything and can operate everything perfectly according to His own will.
(ii) Since He is omniscient, He is never surprised. There are no threats to His omnipotence. There is no possible sin that can stain His holiness. Even His wrath is clear, controlled, and confident.
(2) 2nd, It is a Gift – “May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace” (2Thess3:16)
(a) The word translated “grant” is the verb meaning “to give.” God’s peace is a sovereign, gracious gift bestowed on those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
According to Psalm 85:8, a verse you may have never noticed before, the psalmist stated, “I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.”
God grants peace to those who belong to Him. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid” (John 14:27). There’s no greater gift for the anxious than God’s peace.
(b) Some, however, will seek relief from their anxieties through a false peace:
Isaiah wrote, "Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “And I will heal him.” But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:19-21)
Thomas Watson Wrote: This is the devil’s peace; he rocks men in the cradle of security; he cries, Peace, peace, when men are on the cliff of hell. The seeming peace a sinner has, is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but the ignorance of his danger (A Body of Divinity [Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1986 reprint], p. 262).
(3) 3rd, Its Always Available – “May the Lord of peace...continually grant you peace” (2Thes. 3:16). It is constantly available; the implication is, however, that it can be interrupted.
(a) It isn’t God who interrupts our spiritual peace, but us.
(i) We can suspend the flow of peace in our lives by giving in to our flesh, and unless we “walk by the Spirit,” our means of controlling the flesh (Gal. 5:16), we are open season to all kinds of anxieties: the dread of the unknown, the fear of disease and death—and the list can go on.
(b) How does this unfortunate process begin?
(i) When we stop focusing on our permanent condition in Christ and start basing our happiness on the passing things of the world. Those things by definition will change. Therefore, if we get upset when they do, we will spend our lives in distress.
!!!!!! (c) But what if were feeling troubled or anxious? How can we restore this peace? How can this peace remain uninterrupted?
(i) Remind yourself that God is there to help you:
The psalmist said to himself, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God” (Ps. 42:11). He reminded himself that God was there to help him. We can trust Him because He is trustworthy. He genuinely cares for us.
(ii) Obey God’s Word:
God made it perfectly clear to Israel that peace comes from obeying His Word, He said "You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit… I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid" (Leviticus 26:1-6, NKJV)
(a) The same is true for today. Peace is restored through obedience and the first step is to turn from sin.
(iii) Accept whatever stresses or challenges God has seen fit to bring into your life.
Job accepted his place in life. After Job received the news that he had lost everything including his family, he worshiped the Lord. The Bible says; Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. (Job 1:20).
Job goes on to say "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job1:21-22).
(a) In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Many people are not able to do that because:
(i) they do not accept their places in life.
(ii) they do not accept their jobs, their careers, or other circumstances.
(iii) their response is bitterness, & negativity.
(b) Do you get bitter and angry with God for negative circumstances in your life? Has this happened to you the pas year (2005).
(c) When God brings negative circumstances in our lives, He always has a positive purpose.
Job was able to look beyond his present circumstances & see God’s good plan “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)
(d) If you understand that God is using all the difficulties you face to perfect you, you’ll be at peace. It is not all for nothing. You may not always know why you’re going through this or that, but be encouraged that there is a good reason.
Turning to the New Testament, Paul said if you want peace, do good (Rom. 2:10). All who do good will enjoy peace.
To be more specific, “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable....And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17–18).
(e) Living according to the Word—according to heavenly wisdom, to God’s revealed standard of righteousness—brings peace.
(4) 4th, It is not Subject To Circumstances – “In every circumstance…” (2Thess.3:16NASB).
(a) This peace is not subject to anything that happens in the worldly realm. Rather, it is built on an unchanging divine relationship, and a divine plan and promise from an unfailing God who will secure you in Himself, and who will do everything for your good.
Jesus said in John 16 that "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV)
!!!! b) The peace of God in the midst of circumstances (Genesis 42:36ff).
(1) The hand of God in the life of Jacob, Joseph and his brothers – The purpose for which God permitted all of Josephs trials was about to be revealed: “the saving of many lives” (50:20).
(a) All that Joseph went through, the Lord was with him (Gen.39:2-5, 21, 23).
The Psalmist says "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” (Psalm 75:6-7)
(b) I find it extremely interesting that the Lord’s hand of blessing is upon Joseph as he is a slave! In other words, he is in his Father’s perfect will even though he has gone from being favored in his father’s house to a slave in Potiphar’s!
(c) So this godly young man, after a brief time of success and accomplishment, finds himself in the King’s prison. But when the Lord has a plan – He will often use methods that the world does not understand.
(d) The Lord’s work is often very unconventional and not in the classroom setting.
(i) For Moses it was 40 years on the backside of the desert.
(ii) For Joseph it was an unloving family and many years in jail.
(iii) For Jesus it was and cruel and unloving world, and spikes and a sword and a cross.
(a) This is why most people never get their “Master’s degree” in Christianity. The graduate work is intense!
(b) But for those who are willing to pay the price – the Lord makes great leaders out of them!
The Lord says in Jeremiah "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NKJV)
When we understand that our life is in God’s hands, we can say as Paul that “all things will work out for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
(2) Check this out; while on earth, Jesus did not have silver and gold, he was poor… He said that foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head.
(a) He had no earthly estate to leave to his disciples who were as it were his family, but he had peace to give them. It was His peace that He gave them, the same kind of peace which He himself enjoyed.
c) While Jesus was on earth, what kind of peace did He have?
(a) Peace in the midst of storms (Mark 4:35-41).
Jesus said “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30-31, NKJV)
Paul said to Timothy that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)
And David said "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4, NKJV)
(2) You might way, well what about when Jesus said “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34-39). Is that a contradiction?
(a) When we are confronted by Christ, life’s basic issues are at stake.
(i) What to watch… to listen to… what to wear, what not to where… etc.
(ii) A believer in the home or family of non-believers brings division.
!!! 3. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… Let not your heart be troubled…” (v.27c).
a) The source: Jesus only (v.27c).
(1) Peace is always born out of reconciliation. Its source is found only in the reconciliation produced by Jesus Christ.
Paul writes saying that "Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation," (Ephesians 2:13-14, NKJV)
To those in Colosse he said "and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled" (Colossians 1:20-21)
b) Sinful man can secure the peace of God in the following way:
(1) By Justification: the apostle Paul says "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1, NKJV).
(2) By loving God’s Word: the Psalmist said that "Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble" (Psalm 119:165)… "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. (John 16:33).
(3) By praying about everything: the Apostle Paul says to "Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
(4) By being spiritually minded: "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6)… Isaiah writes that God "Will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You " (Isaiah 26:3)… & Paul says "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
(5) By keeping God’s commandments: as God was declaring Judah’s chastening, He said "Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea " (Isaiah 48:18)… and Paul, in says to the Philippians that "The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:9).
c) The subject of peace is often divided into three ways:
(1) The peace with God, which is given through salvation (Romans 5:1; Eph. 2:14-17).
(2) The peace of God, which is the very peace of God Himself and which points to God as the Source of peace (Luke 7:50; Phil. 4:6-7).
(3) The peace from God, which God gives to dwell in the heart of the believer as he walks day by day in the Lord (Romans 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3).
!! B. The source of joy (rejoicing) (v.28-29).
1. “I am going away and coming back to you, if you loved Me you would rejoice…” (v.28a).
a) The return of Jesus to the Father (His death, resurrection, and ascension) (v.28a).
(1) The disciples needed to understand that His going away was to their advantage (Jn16:7-22).
(2) The death or cross of Christ causes men to rejoice. The cross is the source of our deliverance from sin, death, and hell.
Speaking of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says "who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus said that "I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (John 12:32, NKJV)
(a) There was the joy of seeing man being drawn to the cross, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the end result… man possessing eternal life!
(3) There was the joy of accomplishing the Fathers will and exaltation:
Being applied to the Messiah, the Psalmist says "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:9-11, NKJV)
To the Galatians Paul wrote "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14, NKJV)
(4) The resurrection and ascension are the sources of ournew life and hope for eternity.
Writing to those in Rome, Paul said "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, NKJV)
And I love this, the Psalmist says "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)
We will have everlasting Joy, Isaiah writes "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10, NKJV)
2. “I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I…” (v.28b).
a) The Father’s greatness (v.28b).
(1) Jesus was not admitting inferiority to the Father. “My Father is greater than I” (v. 28) refers to the days of His earthly life.
(a) As Son of God, He is equal with the Father; as Son of Man in a human body, He was obedient to the Father, who gave Christ His words and works (14:10, 24).
(2) The Father’s greatness causes believers to joy and rejoice. The Father demonstrated His great love and power by releasing Jesus...
(a) from the flesh: in all its limitations and weaknesses.
(b) from the world: in all its trials and tensions.
(c) from the devil: in all his oppressions and attacks.
(3) We to will also be released from the flesh, the world, the devil just as Jesus was.
!!! 3. “I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe…” (v.29).
a) A confirmed faith (v.29).
(1) By dying on the cross and going back to heaven, Christ defeated Satan (v. 30), who is the author of confusion and unrest. Lest the disciples think that His death was a tragedy or a mistake, Christ assured them in v. 31 that the cross is proof of His love for the Father. He died because the Father commanded it, and Christ came to do the Father’s will.
(2) The claims of Jesus have been proven and verified. Just as He told His disciples, all that He predicted has come to pass.
(a) He did leave (die)… He did return (the resurrection)
(b) He did go to His Father (the ascension)… He did send the Holy Spirit
(3) Note: by foretelling these things, Jesus strengthened the faith of believers enormously. (In fact, think about it: He could have chosen no better way to strengthen the faith of believers.)
(4) God told Paul things he must suffer before they even happened (Acts 9:16):
God said He was going to show Paul “many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16)
Jesus said "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11, NKJV)
In His prayer to the Father, Jesus prayed "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves." (John 17:13, NKJV)
Jeremiah said "Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts." (Jeremiah 15:16, NKJV)
C. The source of security (v.30-31).
1. “The ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me…” (v.30).
a) Jesus’ victory over the prince of the world (v.30).
(1) Satan had nothing in Jesus; there was nothing which he could use to attract Jesus to sin. There was nothing in Jesus that Satan could use to destroy Him.
(2) Put it this way… I believe one of the greatest weapon against the Devil is a godly life:
Paul put it this way, "Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27)
(a) The word “worthy” is also very significant, It means, to fit, correspond, be suitable.
Speaking to the Corinthians, Paul said "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;" (2 Corinthians 3:2, NKJV)
You are writing a Gospel, a chapter each day
By the deeds that you do, and the words that you say
Men read what you write, whether faithful or true
Just what is the Gospel according to you?
Again, Paul says You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you" (1 Thessalonians 2:10, NKJV)
We are to “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)