May 9, 2010 - Giving Peace

Preacher’s Preview
May 5, 2010
“Giving Peace”

1. What conditions get you anxious and excited?
2. What calms you down from those feelings?
3. Are emotions contagious?
4. When has someone else’s bad feeling infected you?
5. When has someone else’s peace affected you?
6. What do you do to calm down an overwrought child?
7. If you wanted to calm down a whole crowd, how would you do it?
8. How can you ‘give peace?’
9. How do you think of the Holy Spirit?
10. Have you ever had a distinct experience of the Spirit?

Read Passage

1. When do you remember hearing this passage? Why there?
2. Is the Holy Spirit related to Jesus ‘leaving peace?’

John 14: 25-27

25”(Jesus said) I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

The word ‘advocate,’ has been variously translated as counselor, comforter, and advocate.
Verse 26: The “Advocate” does not bring teaching independent of the revelation found in Jesus’ words and actions. The Holy Spirit will not add any new revelation of his own, since that given by Jesus is complete.
Verse 26: “remind”: 12:16 says: “His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.”
Verse 27: “peace”: More than the conventional meaning of shalom is intended. To give “peace” is a royal and a divine prerogative (see Numbers 6:26; Psalm 147:14; Isaiah 26:12; 45:7) which Jesus bequeaths as God’s Messiah, the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6 and Ezekiel 37:26). Worldly peace comes through coercion. [BlkJn] Isaiah 9:6 says: “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.

Commentary on Gospel by Mary Hinkle Shore
In the last evening he spends with the disciples before his death, Jesus tries to show them two elements of reality that are difficult to hold together: he is going away, yet he will not leave them orphaned.
Throughout the farewell discourse, Jesus makes it clear that followers love him by serving others. (One could say that Jesus' love language here is "acts of service."1) Although we might distinguish between loving Jesus and keeping his word, and imagine that we can do one but not the other, Jesus does not recognize that distinction. The clause in John 14:23b is a condition of fact: "Those who love me will keep my word..."2 Love for Jesus simply is love in action.

Whether the disciples know it, to live that kind of love, they will need the constant presence of God in their midst. Jesus offers that presence with three different promises. First, he says of himself and the Father about those who love him: "We will come and make our home with them." From the first chapter of this gospel we know that prior to anyone's love for Jesus, "The Word became flesh and lived among us" (John 1:14). No one would be able to love Jesus if the Father had not first loved the world enough to send his Son into it. The cohabitation that Jesus speaks of is not a reward for good behavior. It is simply a statement of where God likes to spend time. It hearkens back to the first chapter of the gospel and forward to the reality envisioned in Revelation: "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them" (Revelation 21:3).

The Son also announces the advent of the Spirit among the believers. During the time between his leave-taking and life in the new Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit "will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you" (John 14:25). I once heard a New Testament scholar speak of material written fifty years after Jesus' death as a relevant source for the life of the historical Jesus by saying, "My mother has been dead for thirty years. I think I understand her better now than I did when she was alive." The Holy Spirit accompanies the church as it remembers. The Spirit guides the disciples and the church as we think back over what we have experienced of Jesus, and as we seek to let our love for him show up in the ways we relate to others. The Spirit helps disciples to understand Jesus and his word and to love Jesus by keeping his word on behalf of the world.