In Isaiah 9: 6-7 we read, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from hence forth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Did you notice in verse 6 the name "Prince of Peace"? This Hebrew word means "the one who removes all peace-disturbing factors and secures the peace." This sets Him apart from most human rulers whose reigns often depend on bloody conquest. His rule rests on a bloody sacrifice. What a contrast to such biblical kings as Nebuchadnezzar, and even David, whose rule was established on might, but not necessarily on right.
The name "Peaceful Prince" helps to explain why Jesus disappointed His countrymen when He came! They did not want a peaceful prince. They wanted a monarch who would annihilate their foes and once again establish the glories the kingdom of Israel knew in the golden days of Solomon. They wanted the Roman rulers taken away and all their other oppressors with them.
But Jesus didn't lift a finger against Rome. He didn't make one international peace treaty. How can He then be considered the Prince of Peace? Notice two very different statements from the New Testament. Luke 2: 14 states, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!" But in Matthew 10:34, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” How can these two statements be reconciled? Can we blame Jesus' countrymen for rejecting the Prince of Peace if our own world is still engulfed in conflict as we move into the third millennium?
The New Testament says that the first phase of His coming was to establish a basis for peace with God, and to offer it to individuals of all nations. The New Testament also claims that He will come a second time to bring peace to the earth. The first phase of the Messiah's coming produced a peace unknown to man since the fall of Adam into sin. It was rooted in the saving mission carried out by Christ on our behalf.
What is the importance of the name "Prince of Peace" to the believer today? Those who trust Christ as their Savior are given assurance by God that flows out of a right relationship with Him. In Romans 5:1-2 we read, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Once we are in Christ, the Prince of Peace shows us that He can bring peace wherever He rules. He can bring:
Peace in trials. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27.
Peace in the maturing process. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Peace in victories. "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…" Romans 16:20.
Peace in relationships. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3.
Peace in bringing our burden to Him in prayer, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.
What a treasure is ours in Isaiah's predicted Messiah. He is our "Prince of Peace." May we give Him worship now in this Christmas season, and forever as we ponder the great God that He is!
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