The dreaded 'J' word ? (part 16)

QUESTION : If Jesus is the Messiah, why isn't there peace on earth?

I thought you might ask this one, David. You're the only one with the relevant training to ask this particular question.

Now it is fair to say that Jesus was born at a time when the people anticipated and expected a Messiah who would grant them freedom from Roman domination.

Given that, most Jews at the time didn't see Jesus as the fulfilment of that need and so, when his disciples began making claims for his 'messiahship', other Jews then (as now) said, 'well he ain't done what a Messiah's meant to do!'

So what's a Messiah meant to do? Is he meant to bring peace? What is peace? Well, think about it, what is it going to take to bring real, lasting peace? Peace treaties? People shaking hands in public? Of course not. The only real peace comes from the heart of man. And that's what Jesus does for us, he works on our hearts, giving us that peace and that desire for peace in others.

If only everyone did the same, then real peace could break out everywhere. So that's what is meant, I believe, when Isaiah calls the promised Messiah, 'the Prince of Peace'.

As far as the kingly Messiah is concerned, Christians would say that Jesus will fulfil that particular office, but not yet.

When he returns to this world, he will do so in glory as Messiah king, but that's another story. Only then will there be real peace on earth and, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 65, "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more."