“When the angels announced that peace had arrived on earth, it was not because Herod was dethroned, or the Jewish people agreed on the identity of the real King of the Jews, or because the message of Christ would ensure that everybody got along. They announced that peace had arrived on earth because Jesus had arrived, and those on whom his favor rested would benefit in a way that somehow transcended political and social realities. The circumstances hadn’t changed – other than that Christ was present.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you…not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these words in the middle of the most tumultuous and violent events of his life. Judas Iscariot was hatching a plot to betray him. The crowds were in an uproar. The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees were disturbed and fearful, hatching their own plots to rid themselves of this menace to their power and position. Even the Romans could feel the atmosphere of tension in the city.
Yet in the midst of all this, Jesus said he was giving peace. Clearly, the peace he offers isn’t a peace by the standards of the world (John 14:27). Peace is not just the absence of strife. A fuller definition has to involve the presence of Christ: “He is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). True peace is found when we are in right relationship with Christ. The promise of Christmas is that Christ can bring peace within us even as life remains tumultuous around us.”