“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
The Christmas story tells us in Luke 2:14 that a multitude of heavenly angels sang at the birth of Jesus. Pay close attention to the words that they sang. Peace on earth, goodwill toward men!
On the surface it sounds good. Is that what happened when Jesus was born? Did Jesus establish peace on earth? If so, then why is there so much conflict and chaos? And is there a lot of good will toward others?
Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” So what is it then? What were the angels singing about?
With a closer look we discover this verse has been misread for years. The English Standard Version (ESV) says it this way, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.” This means there is peace on earth to those who have God’s favor.
The angels were right but maybe we’ve missed the actual meaning of this verse. Only those who experience God’s favor can truly experience peace on earth. And God’s favor is with those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God.
Jesus did not promise us that we would be exempt of conflict and chaos. But He does promise to give us a peace that surpasses all understanding while we encounter such conflict and chaos.
Lord, I need Your peace. I trust You to give me everything I need to endure the sufferings that I face. Help me to share the peace, love and joy of Jesus to others.