In the Jewish culture, the people greet each other and say goodbye with the same word – Shalom! James Strong defines the word shalom in his concordance as, "Welfare, wholeness, health, prosperity, and peace." Wow! That seems like a mouthful from just a simple word as peace. As we look around in the world today, we see and hear of wars, fighting, murders, and weapons of mass destruction being constructed secretly. We are always bombarded with information about the wars in the Middle East more than any other nation in the world. Isn't it ironic that from this war-torn region their greetings and goodbyes speak of the one thing that is missing in their land which is the very Shalom of God?
In John chapter twelve Jesus is conversing with his disciples knowing the time of his death is quickly approaching. He offers comfort to them by letting them know though he is leaving, he will not leave them alone. I love how Jesus shows us the reality of this world but does not leave us hanging without hope. Jesus tells them of the impending dangers they will face after he is gone, but he also tells them the Holy Spirit will be given to them as a helper, comforter, and teacher in his place.
When someone knows their time to die is approaching they usually put things in place for their loved ones, they make a will, and they divide their inheritance among those they are leaving behind. They state their desires to be carried out after death. In this passage we see Jesus doing the same thing; he's preparing to leave the most valuable treasure he owned for his beloved disciples. One might think Jesus, being the Son of God would have given them silver and gold or a royal mansion. But to my surprise Jesus leaves in his will; his peace, his shalom.
Peace is vital and will determine the quality of life we live in this world. Often we believe more money, more possessions, more vacations, more social outings and more friends would bring us happiness and translate into peace in this chaotic world. But the truth is more stuff can never bring us true peace.
One of Jesus' titles is "Prince of Peace" – he is peace, peace belongs to him, and that is why only Jesus can give us real peace. In his conversation with this disciples, he said, "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you." (John 14:27a AMP). The word "bequeath" means to leave or give personal property by will or to pass something to another; to hand down (Dictionary by Merriam Webster).
So of all the many qualities Jesus had he left for us the thing he saw we would need most in this world and it was not money or physical possession, but it was the peace by which he lived and operated while on earth. The world is searching for peace, but there is no real peace besides the Prince of peace. If you are a believer, then by right you have been given the peace which passes all understanding.
"When Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better - His PEACE!" - Matthew Henry.