As a child, I loved receiving material gifts that I could see and hold and play with. What kid doesn’t? Physical gifts are still pretty enjoyable, but as I’ve grown, the preciousness of intangible gifts such as friendship, opportunity, acceptance, love, or joy bring even greater satisfaction. Seems that being able to understand what is genuinely meaningful and of lasting value takes a certain amount of maturity or life experience. So it was for Christ’s disciples. A collection of men who couldn’t yet understand the immeasurable gift Jesus would leave them and give to them. An intangible yet very real gift called peace.
- What is a gift you have received that, at the time it was given, you didn’t understand or appreciate its worth?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 14:15-31 (ESV)
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 25-31. Verses 15-24 were covered previously.)
- Reread the full text and list all the names and duties related to the Spirit of God.
- What is the relationship of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to the believer? To each other?
- What is the difference between how Jesus gives peace and how the world does?
- On a scale from 1 (smooth sailing) to 10 (furious storm) what is your peace quotient currently? Where do you most need Jesus’ peace?
- Of all the promises and statements made in this text, which means the most to you? Why?
RESPOND TO GOD
The peace that Jesus gives is a double gift. It’s both peace WITH God and the peace OF God. “Peace I leave with you,” would be the result of the atonement. “My peace I give to you,” is enjoyed through the indwelling Spirit. This latter peace is what is spoken of in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” It’s a peace that can’t be taken away by the circumstances of this world because it doesn’t have its origins in this world. Most of us have come to a place where we’re aware of the value of such a gift. Perhaps now you should focus on its immense availability to you.
- Thank your Heavenly Father that both peace WITH God and the peace OF God have been made available to you through Christ.