“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(John 14:27 NIV)
There’s a word I heard a lot when I was in Israel. In my coming and going, when meeting someone, “shalom” was a greeting I heard throughout the day. But this one word meant more than “peace,” or the traditional Hebrew greeting for “hello” and “goodbye.” When someone greeted me with shalom, they were in essence wishing me, “wholeness,” “completeness,” “soundness,” “health,” “safety,” “prosperity,” and “harmony,” to name a few of its deeper meanings. In today’s passage, Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), left His disciples with the gift of His peace, His shalom. And unlike the world’s peace, Jesus’ peace is internal. Because even in the midst of war and conflict, we can still have God’s peace within, a peace “which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). A calm in the storm. That’s the shalom Jesus promised us and the shalom we can count on.