Sunday, April 3, 2016

Jesus Christ is revealed as Prince of Peace in the New Testament

Matthew 4:12 -17 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, he withdrew into Galilee; (13) and leaving Nazareth, he came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. (14) This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: (15) 'the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles - (16) the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light has dawned.' (17) From that time Jesus began to preach and say, 'repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'

Introduction :
In yesterday's post we explored the significance and the importance of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. we looked mainly at Isaiah chapter 9: 1-7. We noted that as the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ shines light into darkness, breaks the yoke of bondage and brings order to chaos. We had also looked briefly at a few New Testament passages that utilize Isaiah's prophecy concerning Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. 

I felt in today's post needed to explore more specifically how Jesus Christ's designation as "Prince of Peace" is developed in the New Testament. The reader will notice that the opening passage for today's post begins in Matthew chapter 4. I find it interesting that Matthew's gospel uses Isaiah's prophecy as one of the defining texts for describing the meaning of Jesus's public Ministry. This decisively tells us that what Isaiah was writing about in chapter 9 of his book was pointing explicitly to what would be the public Ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. And so with these thoughts in mind I wanted to briefly explore some passages in the New Testament but developed further this thought of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.

1. Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace in the four Gospels
In the four Gospels we see various episodes that describe the ways in which Jesus Christ had shone light, broken the yoke of bondage and brought order to chaos in the lives of various people. One example of this is found in the first two verses of Luke chapter 8. The passage describes the various women who had accompanied Jesus and the apostles in the course of his earthly ministry throughout the regions of Galilee and Judea. Luke 8:1-2 states: "soon afterwards, he began going around from one city and village to another proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, (2) and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out." Imagine if you will what it must have been like for Mary - who had been encountered by the Lord Jesus Christ - and the way in which he brought light into her Darkness, delivered her from the Yoke of bondage and brought order into her chaotic world. I can imagine all of those who were associated with Jesus's ministry had powerful testimonies concerning how he is the Prince of Peace had brought peace into their lives.

2. Jesus as Prince of Peace in the book of Acts
As the Apostle Peter was preaching in Acts chapter 10, we read his summary of Jesus' Ministry in verses 36-38 - "The word which he sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all) - (37) you yourselves know the things which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed. (38) You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him." 

Peter's description of Jesus ministry not only in the four Gospels but in terms of how his ministry was continuing on through the power of the Holy Spirit in the church, describes Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.

3. Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace in the New Testament Letters or Epistles
One of the many examples that we can consider the New Testament letters concerning Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace, is found in Paul's letter to the church at Rome. Romans 5:1 states: "Therefore having been justified by faith,  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
We also find this theme of Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace in Ephesians 2:14 "for he himself is our peace who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall." The Apostle Paul is talking about how in Jesus Christ, the Jews and the Gentiles - who by grace through faith believe on him - are brought together as one people of God. 

Paul is alluding to what would have been the dividing wall that existed in the temple in Jerusalem in the first century period.  That wall separated the so-called Court of the Gentiles from the innermost remaining courts wherein only Jews were allowed to enter. In that Temple system there were signs which had written in Greek prohibitions against Gentiles. What Jesus Christ did in effect, was to bring about peace and reconciliation to God. All who place their faith and trust in him can have unlimited access to the Heavenly Father.

We could go on, but just for sake of completion, let the reader consider 1 Peter 2:1-12. In Peter's text we see how Jesus Christ had worked salvation as the Precious Cornerstone in order to rescue his people out of darkness in order to bring them into His marvelous light. Incidentally, the Apostle Peter is alluding to what Isaiah wrote in chapters eight and nine of his prophecies.

4. Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace in The Apocalypse of John
When we come to the 19th Chapter of the Book of Revelation, we are witnessing what will be the second coming of Jesus Christ to defeat all of the armies of the world. As the victory of Jesus Christ is without question in Bible prophecy, we understand that when he returns, he will set up his kingdom here on Earth. 

One of the most remarkable statements concerning the uncontestable reign of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Revelation 19:6 "then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord Our God, the Almighty, reigns."  In so far as Jesus Christ is already the Prince of Peace right now, this fact gives the guarantee of Him continuing on thia role into his future thousand year reign here on Earth, as well as what will be his eternal Kingship over all those who responded to His gospel into eternity.

Closing thoughts
In today's post we briefly surveyed how Jesus Christ as Prince of Peace is developed in the New Testament. We certainly did not cover all the passages. Nevertheless, the Christian is encouraged to not only study these passages, but others that communicate this wonderful truth of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.