Names of Jesus Week Eight, Day One

The Name
Who hasn't longed for peace, living in a world that is so often full of strife? The Hebrew word for peace, however, means much more than the absence of conflict or the end of turmoil. Shalom conveys not only a sense of tranquility but also of wholeness and completion. To enjoy shalom is to enjoy health, satisfaction, success, safety, well-being, and prosperity. Though the New Testament does not directly call Jesus the Prince of Peace, this title from Isaiah has traditionally been associated with him as the One who brings peace to the world. Furthermore,  Paul assured the Ephesian Christians saying of Jesus, "He himself is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). When you pray to Sar Shalom, you are praying to the One who is the source of all peace. To live in peace is to live in his presence.

Key Scripture
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
.
Isaiah 9:6

***

Monday
His Name Revealed

The people
walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned. . . .
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.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9:2, 6 - 7

His [John's] father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. . . .

"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." Luke 1:67, 76 - 79

Jesus, my life was in chaos until you entered it. Thank you for the forgiveness that brought me peace. Deepen my sense of your presence by keeping me close to you. Teach me to become a peacemaker — loving justice, doing right, and leading others along the path of peace.

Understanding the Name

Though the Hebrew title Sar Shalom (SAR sha-LOME) does not appear in the New Testament, Zechariah calls it to mind with words that echo Isaiah 9. Both passages speak of a people living in darkness and in the shadow of death. And both speak of a child who will bring peace to God's people.

Shortly after Christ was born, we hear angels proclaiming: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14).

In Greek the word for peace is eirene. Like the Hebrew concept of shalom, the New Testament portrays peace as much more than the absence of conflict. Mark's Gospel, for instance, links healing and peace by capturing Jesus' words to a woman he has just healed. He tells her to "go in peace" (Mark 5:34). The New Testament further develops our understanding of peace by revealing Jesus as the source of all peace. Though we were alienated from God because of our sins, Jesus reconciled us, making peace through his blood. Peace with God produces peace with others and peace within ourselves. When Christ's kingdom is fully established, all strife will cease, and those who belong to him will enjoy forever the fullness of peace — health, wholeness, well-being, tranquility, satisfaction, safety, prosperity, and perfect contentment.

Studying the Name

  1. What does the word "peace" mean to you? How does this differ from the biblical idea of shalom?
  2. Why is the "Prince of Peace" a fitting title for Jesus? Can you think of incidents in his life that display his peace?
  3. What do you think it means to walk in "the path of peace"?
  4. Ask yourself whether you are experiencing Christ's peace in your life. How can you participate more deeply in his peace?

For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.