Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men
Division is everywhere. People categorize and separate themselves based off a myriad of factors. Likes, beliefs, gender, race, etc. When one group believes that they are in some way superior to another group it leads to damaged relationships, insecurity, hostility and (at worst) genocide.
This division was true during the time of Jesus.
- Rome oppressed, forces labor and taxes from the Jews. A soldier could tell a person to carry his pack a mile and that person had no recourse.
- Jews despised Samaritans. They mixed with pagans and didn’t follow the bible in the same way. They definitely saw Samaritans as inferior. Would go out of their way to not pass through Samaria while travelling from Judea to Galilee.
Jesus had a different attitude toward Samaritans:
- John 4:5-10 Jesus passed through Samaria and talked with the woman at the well.
- Jesus didn’t see the Samaritan woman as inferior. He saw her through the eyes of God on earth.
- John 1 teaches us that Jesus was there in the beginning. It was his voice that created everything and that the pinnacle of his creation was humanity.
- John 3:16 says, “For God so lovedthe world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus created everything. He came to us as a human because of his love for us and his eventual death would be for us. He was paying the penalty for our sin.
- Of course he was going to talk to the Samaritan woman. He created her and wants her to eventually spend eternity in heaven with God. This conversation helped that a happen.
- Luke 10:30-37 The Good Samaritan
- The Samaritan didn’t see the differences, he saw a person in need.
- Jesus is telling us that everyone is our neighbor because we are all God’s creation. Obviously we have differences but they are insignificant next to the fact that we are all his children.
God takes the concept of peace very seriously. He speaks about it often. He really wants us to live it out.
- 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- 12:18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peacewith everyone.
- 14:19 – Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
- We must look for every opportunity to bring peace into the world.
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.
Peace is not a what, it’s a who and his name is Jesus. We need to look for every opportunity to bring more Jesus into the world.
- Peace starts with the pre-choice love (internal).
- We decide to love prior to any event happening. Then when the event happens, we have already decided what our response is going to be. Love.
- Our right choices become actions (external).
- Our right actions and the resulting satisfaction produce more peace in us (internal).
Big idea: Peace is an aggressive bare-knuckled fight with your inner self to choose the path of love rather than adding to the division, resentment, anger & prejudice that permeates our world.
Matt. 5:41 Jesus said, “And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two”
- If we take this same approach today it opens the door for God to move in people’s lives
Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.