How is Jesus the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)?
Isaiah 9:6, a Messianic prophecy, says, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of Peace?
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A prince would have been understood by Isaiah's readers as a leader among a group of people. Jesus certainly fits this role as leader of all the people of the world. But what does it mean to be the Prince of Peace? The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, was often used in the Old Testament to refer to a time of rest between groups or nations. Likewise, the Greek equivalent in the New Testament, eirene, was used regarding one of the goals of believers. For example, the Beatitudes include the teaching, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).
In contrast, the Pharisees misidentified Jesus, calling Him the prince of demons: "by the prince of demons he casts out the demons" (Mark 3:22; also Matthew 9:34; 12:24; Luke 11:15). Instead, the New Testament writers referred to Jesus as the "Lord of lords" and "King of kings," titles similar to that of a prince: "he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15; also Revelation 17:14; 19:16).
Before the death of Jesus, He told His followers, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27). Following His resurrection, we read, "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you'" (John 20:19).
The apostle Paul would develop the theme of peace at length in Romans. Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." In Galatians 5:22, peace is noted as part of the fruit of the Spirit. In Ephesians 2:14, Paul identifies Jesus Himself as our peace. How did Jesus provide this peace? Colossians 1:20 shares that it was by "making peace by the blood of his cross."
Alongside other powerful names such as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Eternal Father, the Messiah Jesus is given the title Prince of Peace, indicating one of His many roles—the One who is the leader of peace and offers it to others.
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