Why Jesus will never win the Nobel Peace Prize
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Since its inception, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to more than 104 individuals and 23 organizations. To fight for peace, ironic as it sounds, is a valiant and essential endeavour. Our world is fraught with conflict, whether it’s contained within the privacy of an abusive marriage, or depicted in yet another mass shooting, or epitomized by ongoing wars and its ensuing humanitarian crisis. It is not surprising when notions of peace are greeted with sarcastic cynicism. Peace has proven itself to be an elusive ideal.
Far from what critics of religion would argue, the words of Jesus are more relevant now than ever. Spoken just days before His gruesome murder (circa. ad 30) following a criminal trial that cared little for justice and fairness, these words have echoed throughout history and continues to captivate people in 2019. What did Jesus mean when He told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…”?
What Peace Isn’t
I do not give to you as the world gives. Jesus draws a sharp distinction between the world’s concept of peace and the peace He offers. It is universally agreed that peace necessitates an absence of conflict. To make peace with someone is to let go of any bitterness which so easily morphs into violence. A peace agreement between warring states has validity only if all parties agree in withdrawing hostility. Peace is achieved when fighting stops.
Here is why Jesus will never be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He explicitly states that He does not offer the peace that the world expects. He offers a peace that is profoundly different.
What Peace Is
The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things… Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. To be clear, Jesus is speaking of what will happen after His departure. The Father will send the Holy Spirit and the disciples will receive peace. I am suggesting that these two things are one and the same. That is, the Holy Spirit is the peace that Jesus offers.
This explains the distinction against the world’s peace. For from being attained only when fighting stops, Jesus offers a peace that can be attained even in the midst of intense fighting. This is because peace is a person – the person of the Holy Spirit.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. How is this possible when we face a daily barrage of struggles and difficulties? It is possible because peace is neither elusive nor ephemeral. Peace is the person of the Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who asks Him in repentance. If you turn your heart to Jesus, you will not only find peace, peace Himself will find you and dwell with you forever.