I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name. 3 John, verses 13 and 14.
Of all that’s said in this short letter, perhaps the most important words are these three: Peace to you. They are the words with which John concludes this short epistle. They are the same words that Jesus said over and over when He went forth from resurrection, and they are a benediction to this part of our journey together.
Peace to you.
Let’s face it, my friend, there is no peace in humanity. In the wake of the Zimmerman trial, the media whips us into a frenzy, wanting us to believe the lie that the races will never live together in harmony. At any moment, war may break out in Syria, or Uganda, or North Korea; at any moment, we may learn of another mass shooting. Our government is bankrupt; political parties couldn’t be farther apart; radical Islam is rising; tyranny advances; the world seems to be spinning out of control.
Peace to you.
And don’t we know of too many people who are suffering? Too many of my friends are unemployed. I know friends who lost homes in the recent Colorado fires, and a friend of mine nearly lost her daughter to the Rolling Stone-Boston Bomber on that day several months ago. Me, I’m worried about my grandchildren’s future, saving for retirement, starting a business, and cancer.
Through it all, Jesus says this: “Peace to you.”
Peace to you that overcomes a spinning world and all the tangled webs we weave. Peace that is more powerful than North Korean weapons, bastardized religion’s hateful invectives, or polarized political opposites. The peace with which Jesus umbrellas our every moment is designed in God’s infinite love to render all human problems moot. Got death? Peace to you. Got unemployment? Peace to you. Got divorce, disease, hatred, bankruptcy, or depression? Peace out; peace to you.
Peace knowing that it’s not just peace to you. The apostle John was invoking Jesus to his friends. He closed this short letter by leaving them with Jesus, who had left John with His peace. When Jesus said “peace to you” He meant “my love in your life. My love IS your life.” When we boil it all down, there’s really nothing else that we need.
There are 323 words in the book of 3 John, making it the shortest in the Bible. It is a book of rebuke, reminder, and remembrance. More than that, it is a small book of peace. Like father Abraham said, it is peace to you of Jesus, by Jesus, and for Jesus that will never perish from this earth.
Jesus, I praise You for Your peace, for Your guiding Word, and Your love. Teach me to share Your peace today.