A couple of years ago, on one of our first trips to Japan, I sat down with a man named Michael Oh. Michael directs C.B.I., a training institute for pastors in Nagoya, Japan. I just assumed he was Japanese, but, no, he’s Korean. And that’s actually a big deal. Why’s that? Koreans don’t typically like Japanese. There’s lots of racial tension between the two countries. But there Michael is, living in Japan, sharing Jesus. Why? Jesus had brought peace. He wanted to take peace there.
Jesus has brought peace. That’s what Ephesians 2:14 clearly says. He’s “made us both one.” That’s Jew and Gentile. It’s Korean and Japanese. Christ has brought sinful human beings together.
But notice carefully what it actually says. “He Himself is our Peace.” Paul is going out of his way here to emphasize that Christ is the source of peace. Yes, He alone brings it about. But He is also Peace. It’s not just what He does. It’s who He is.
It reminds me of that familiar Christmas verse, the one that promised His coming: Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
He’s the Prince of Peace. That’s why, at His birth, the angels proclaimed, “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). The One who is Peace – had come. And for that reason, peace would come. Bringing people together is just one part of why Jesus came.
Our concept of peace is far too small – that is, compared to the Biblical picture. The Biblical concept comes from the Hebrew idea of Shalom. Shalom doesn’t just refer to a “peaceful, easy feeling.” It’s even more than the absence of conflict. It’s the hope of everything messed up in the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden being made right. Shalom is complete wholeness. Wholeness in heaven and on earth. All things in complete unity. That was the Father’s plan – that everything would be united in Him one day. That there would be perfect Shalom. That’s why He sent His Son – to bring all of that about. He would bring peace. He is Peace. Jesus is its very source. That’s what Jesus has done. He’s brought Shalom. (KEVIN LARSON)