And his name shall be called … Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

In every generation, humanity cries out for peace on earth. Who doesn’t long for peace on earth while living in a world that is full of so much strife? Today, we look around and see record crime in the streets of our great cities, partisanship in the halls of the United States Congress, conflict in our homes and churches, global wars, and rumors of wars. All of this and more weighs heavily upon us this Christmas. Sadly, it’s nothing new.

A song performed by U2, the Irish rock band and worldwide music sensation, reminds us of our collective longing for peace. Bono, the group’s leader, wrote “Peace on Earth” following the bombing of Northern Ireland on August 15, 1998. Years later, the song took on new meaning after Islamic terrorists attacked the United States of America on September 11, 2001. The sad lyrics express the cynicism in many people’s hearts during the Christmas season.

Jesus this song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won't rhyme.
So what's it worth?
This peace on Earth

Yeah, “what’s it worth” when “hope and history won’t rhyme”? What’s it worth when we talk about peace on earth while bombs are bursting in Ukraine? What’s it worth singing about peace on earth when we cannot resolve our marital conflicts? What’s it worth writing “peace on earth” on our Christmas cards when anxiety paralyzes us? Is peace on earth anything more than warm Christmas sentiment?

Of course, we talk about peace on earth during the Christmas season for good reasons. News of a special child born in Bethlehem came first to the shepherds, who, according to Luke’s gospel, were in their fields and watching over their flocks at night. Luke 2:13-14 reads, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” We are most familiar with the King James translation, which reads, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Nearly eight hundred years earlier, the prophet Isaiah penned a messianic prophecy that reads, “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” (Isaiah 9:6). The Prince of Peace arrived in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and the world has never been the same. However, did He deliver on the promise of His name and bring peace on earth?

Before I answer that question, why is Jesus, the Messiah, called the Prince of Peace? In what way is He a prince? Besides, isn’t He the King of kings? And didn’t stargazers from the east follow a celestial sign all the way to Bethlehem to worship a king who had been born?

Of course, Jesus has many names and titles. Of His Christmas names, Prince of Peace suggests royalty and sovereignty, a person of superior worth and excellence. Throughout history, for example, we refer to the princes of Europe as emperors and kings.[i]

Now, let’s think about peace on earth in at least three ways.

Geopolitical Peace

Geopolitical peace filled the hopes and dreams of the Jewish people for centuries as they anticipated the arrival of their Messiah. By the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Pax Romana (Latin for “Roman peace”) had been in effect for nearly thirty years.[ii] The Roman policy produced relative peace, order, and stability for most Roman citizens, but not for the Jews living under the heavy hand of imperial rule. The Jews had hoped that Messiah’s arrival would change the balance of geopolitical rule in favor of God’s chosen people, but it did not immediately do so.

Since then, the world has experienced anything but geopolitical peace—the absence of wars, rumors of wars, crime, and terrorism. For two thousand years, numerous peace treaties have been signed by world leaders, and later broken by many of those same leaders. In our time, the United Nations sends peacekeeping forces into war-torn regions regularly. The Nobel Peace Prize, named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist, is awarded annually to the world leader who does the best work in bringing about world peace, conferring “the greatest benefit to mankind.”

Some people believe Nobel funded the award because some of his inventions like dynamite were being used in modern warfare. But nobody would say that Alfred Nobel, or anybody else, has achieved peace on earth, despite nearly every Miss America beauty contestant who says her goal in life is “world peace.”

Eschatological Peace

However, the absence of geopolitical peace on earth does not mean the Messiah failed, or that Jesus is not the Messiah, as most Jews have believed for two thousand years.

Messianic Jews are believers in Jesus who understand that Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming Messiah envisions two advents. Messiah came first as a suffering servant; He will return as a conquering king at the end of the age. Until then, Messianic Jews and Christians must wait in faith for eschatological peace on earth. “Eschatology” is the theology of last things and considers the long arc of Bible prophecy.

Let’s return to Isaiah’s prophecy for a closer look. Besides revealing four of God’s Christmas names—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace—the prophecy says, “The government will be upon his shoulders.” Then, it goes on to say,

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:7

Try imagining a political leader with broad enough shoulders to govern the entire world in perfect peace, righteousness, and justice. Nobody has ever come close to achieving such lofty goals. This is something only God Himself, in the person of Jesus Messiah, can and will accomplish. Isaiah says pointedly, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” All of this will happen when Jesus returns and sits on David’s throne, meaning He will rule and reign from Jerusalem, not Washington DC. But when will this geopolitical peace on earth happen?

Human leaders throughout history have tried and failed to produce lasting peace on earth, and such failures will continue. One day, a devil-possessed leader known as the Antichrist will emerge and coalesce a worldwide following. He will demand worship, falsely mimic God Almighty, and destroy human lives. But Jesus Messiah will return as the conquering king, defeat the enemies of God, establish His government on this earth, and rule in peace, justice, and righteousness. In the meantime, we wait in faith and experience personal peace.

Personal Peace

Christmas is God’s peace wrapped in human flesh. Peace on earth comes personally to each human heart that welcomes Jesus Messiah by faith. Let’s think of the Christmas gift of peace in two ways. First, do you have peace with God?

God sent His one and only Son to broker a peace treaty with sinful human beings through His death and resurrection. Apart from a reconciled relationship with God through faith in Jesus, the Christ, we are enemies of God. (Romans 5:10). That’s right, enemies! We are stubborn, self-absorbed, and rebellious sinners. We are hopelessly held in bondage to the powers of darkness. The enemies of God never win!

However, the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). By faith in Jesus, we go from enemies of God to children of God and become part of His forever family.  

Second, do you know and experience the mind-blowing peace of God? I call it mind-blowing peace based on Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am not just playing around with prepositions. Real stress, anxiety, and worry need not paralyze you this Christmas. The peace of God can rule in your heart by faith. Even with chaos happening all around you, tranquility of spirit can be your personal possession.

The Jewish people understand peace or shalom as internal wellness, health, prosperity, security, and wholeness. It is character that exists even in stormy times. This shalom is something the Holy Spirit produces supernaturally in us when we are in relationship with Jesus. “The fruit of the Spirit is … peace” (Galatians 5:22).

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. This Christmas, travel to Bethlehem and worship Him.


[i] KJV Dictionary: Prince, accessed on December 20, 2022,

[ii] Jim Denison of The Denison Forum writes, “The world into which Jesus was born was as divided and divisive as ours. While the Pax Romana prevailed through military force and subjugation to the Empire, the culture of the first century was conflicted and confused in the extreme.” From The Daily Article, December 22, 2022.


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“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28 MSG