Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6 says; “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
This prophecy was one of the many given through Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah and was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. It may have been one of the prophecies that caused the Jewish leadership at the time to reject Jesus as their Messiah.
By the time Jesus was born, Israel was in the iron grip of the all-powerful Roman Empire and they hated it. Of course they did; they knew that was not the way it was supposed to be. They looked back to the covenant of Abraham and the promises about their unique favor with God. They remembered: “’No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)
Peace to the Jews at the time of the birth of Christ meant an earthly ruler, a political leader, and one who would restore the glory years of King David and King Solomon. They were thinking only in natural terms but God had something grander in mind for them AND ALSO FOR US.
What then really is the “Prince of Peace”? Real peace is best displayed in the midst of chaos, turmoil or confusion. Think about the surface of the water during a storm at sea. It tosses everything about quite violently. However, the deeper you go below the surface, the calmer things become. Far below the surface, deep in the ocean, is a quiet that is totally unaware of the disturbance at the top.
Jesus provides that kind of peace for us. “For He Himself IS our peace…” (Ephesians 2:14) All hell may be breaking forth against us on the surface of our life. Our health and finances and relationships may crumble and toss us about like violent waves. However, by sinking down deeper into him, we experience his peace as an anchor of security.
Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles was in prison (with far worse conditions than we can comprehend today) when he wrote to his dear friends in the Philippian church. Yet, he intimately knew Jesus as Prince of Peace when he said: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Even though the Jews were shortsighted when their Messiah came to them in an unexpected way, they were not entirely wrong. The prophecy about the Prince of Peace is both here now and yet still coming. All the prophecies concerning Messiah have their final completion in the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus will rule then absolutely over every kingdom of this world.
Receive him as Prince of Peace now and yet long for the day: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them.” (Revelation 21:3)