Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
John 14:27 “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.”
In Hebrew, the term "Prince of Peace" translates to "Sar Shalom." Interestingly, "sar" signifies a leader with nuances that hint at military associations, like a "war-lord." “Shalom" encapsulates the concept of completeness, wholeness. When Jesus entered the earthly realm, his purpose was to lead a broken, sin-laden world toward restoration and wholeness.
Through life's struggles—such as anxiety, depression, or loneliness—we can find hope in the peace Jesus provides. Yet, there's more to this title than meets the eye.
"Sar Shalom" is an intriguing phrase; we are more familiar with the term "Prince of Peace." This label carries profound implications about the nature of God. It depicts a figure, like a "war-lord," overseeing peace. In the historical context between Isaiah's prophecy and Luke's account, the Romans touted their version of "peace." However, theirs was a peace enforced through sheer might, political oppression, and brute force, leaving devastation in its wake for any who dared to oppose it.
At the time of the first Christmas, the world longed wearily for genuine peace. The Romans boasted of Pax Romana, the supposed peace of Rome, but it was a facade, a political maneuver. The famous Greek philosopher Epictetus insightfully remarked, “While the emperor may give peace from war on land and seas, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart, for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.” The world was in dire need of a Savior, one who would bring true peace.
This "war-lord" of peace did not arrive like any other worldly leader, past or future. He didn’t come to fight against people, but he also wasn’t a pacifist. Though mankind declared war against God and rejected him, he came as a ruler who was willing to give his own blood for them. He came as a baby.
His entrance was accompanied by a heavenly chorus singing praises, his humble birth taking place in a simple stable. He didn't come to wage war against people; his battle was against sin. He didn't brandish a sword; instead, he bore the weight of a cross.
Amidst life's struggles and uncertainties, purposefully seek the peace that Jesus offers. Meditate on Philippians 4:6-7 and pray for the peace that surpasses understanding to guard your heart and mind in every situation.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus, our “Sar Shalom,” the Prince of Peace, to bring completeness and healing to our lives. In the midst of life's challenges and uncertainties, we seek the peace that only you can provide. Grant us the wisdom to seek your peace in every situation, and to live as instruments of your peace in our world. Help us to surrender our anxieties, fears, and struggles, allowing your peace to guard our hearts and minds. In Jesus’ name. Amen.