“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

There are few things, if any, more edifying than a Bible study among believers. Indeed, many interpretations or view points concerning a scripture can prove to be most valuable to those in attendance. However, that being said, though discussion concerning a verse or sections meaning is warranted, there are times that people can get too hung up on this very thing.

It’s not because there aren’t right and wrong ways to approach a particular scripture, but rather the issue arises when two or more individuals get something out of the passage that another might have missed. Each person becomes convinced they have the right interpretation and an argument may arise. I have sat in on many Bible studies where this occurs and sometimes pride becomes as ever-present as the Lord in such circumstances.

The fact is it is the “living word.” The Bible is from God, and God was keenly aware who would be reading what at a particular time and breathed His word unto those who transcribed it so that even today it may reach us wherever we are in our lives.

I feel confident in saying that those who have spent any considerable time in the scripture have had this happen, where a verse may transcend the words and bring an important somewhat veiled message to the mind and heart. Perhaps it has even stuck with you as mine has.

Yet, mankind is imaginative, and when this occurs, it’s important to ask oneself if the lesson contradicts the message of scripture. If it does not contradict than one can conclude it is a lesson from the Almighty and He, by His word, has opened your eyes to see a truth evident, but not readily and superficially contained within. If it does contradict, then perhaps your mind is looking for what’s not there, for any variety of reasons, or it may be from the darkness itself.

In this particular verse a couple of truths are contained within Christ’s words. Although the whole verse is a beautiful and important one, the part I focused on in my devotions today was when Christ says, “I do not give to you as the world gives.”

When mere human beings speak it is usually because we have a singular message to convey to another party, but when the Lord speaks, a single word contains volumes of knowledge, and the Lord speaks, in His word, to a multitude. Thus, one sentence from God can mean several things.

Let’s take a look at one correct reading. our Lord tells us he does not give as the world gives. What is it that man, at his shallowest, desires more than anything else? These can be narrowed down to some degree to sensory gratification, egoism, and worldly goods. Such things man always strives for when man is without God.

The Bible continually teaches us that worldly possessions are momentary and lack the importance that man gives them. Christ and all God Breathed scripture doesn’t say possessions are bad in and of themselves, but Christ here juxtaposes the two saying what He gives us, is not momentary, worldly possessions, but something far grander. It can’t be wrapped in a box or presented to someone, but rather it speaks and is granted to the heart from the Lord Himself.

The other issue, and there are perhaps more, concerns what is true peace. Again, we are of the world and the Lord may choose to bless us by granting us perishable things, but if one wants contentment, what they should seek above all else is the Lord. Throughout my life I have seen people who lack but are content at the same time. If you run across such people and ask them their secret, and nine times out of ten its their relationship with God. A persons concerns begin to transcend the momentary and perishable, their hearts settling more and more on God.

Even for us Christians, we all too commonly, and I include myself in this, look to the world to provide peace or fulfillment. This is never the case for those who are happy in the world constantly need more and more goods. Those who are happy and have acquired peace through God just seek Him more and are fulfilled that the place they are is exactly where they need to be.

So the verse has at least two meanings. One, that God’s gifts to us are gifts to our heart and not our bank account and two, a contentment is promised which does not rest on anything, but the Lord and our faith I’m Him. Yet, there is more.

Finally, Jesus tells us that He gives His peace to us and it being His, it denotes that it is His and He could give peace to anyone He desires. It is His to give, and for that peace, the true peace, we should look no further than Jesus Christ. Amen.