"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not ..." (John 14:27)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

Is Jesus really speaking of "peace" here?

The use of the word "peace" here has been misunderstood.

This is likewise for another statement by Jesus:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matt. 5:9)
The word "peace," according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary primarily relates to "freedom from civil disturbance," or "a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom." It can also mean "freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions" although this is not its primary meaning. The common use of the word relates to a worldly peace of communities or nations.

The concept of "peacemakers" pushes this interpretation forth - that Jesus was discussing civil discord here.

Was Jesus really a peacemaker? Was Jesus a peacemaker when he turned over the tables of the sellers and moneychangers at the Temple and drove the sellers out? (Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15, John 2:14-16). Here is the description of Jesus' actions from the Book of John:
And he found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen, sheep and doves; and the money changers seated at their tables. And he made a whip from cords and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who were selling the doves he said, “Take these away, stop making my LORD’s house a place of business.” (John 2:14-16)
Was Jesus being a peacemaker when he stated emphatically:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." (Matt. 23:15)
Was Jesus making peace when he said:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence." (Matt. 23:25)
Are these the words and actions of a peacemaker? Surely not. Jesus' purpose had nothing to do with creating peace among the society around him. If anything, Jesus was a disruptor. He wasn't a peacemaker.

Isn't this about a deeper peace?

The Greek words being translated to "peace" in John 14:27 is εἰρήνη (eirēnē) for "peace" - and εἰρηνοποιός (eirēnopoios) for "peacemaker" in Matthew 5:9. It is true that this word can mean, according to the lexicon, "a state of national tranquillity" and "exemption from the rage and havoc of war."

But it can also mean, "the blessed state of devout and upright men after death" as well as, "salvation" according to the lexicon.

In other words, Jesus was indicating inner tranquility. Peace from within, which comes from love of God and love of others.

Yes, this can still be translated to peace. But it is not the 'world peace' type of peace. Jesus is speaking of tranquility. A state of inner peace.

Is salvation misunderstood?

Some tell us that "salvation" means being cleansed of our sins. But what are "our sins"? Their teachings refer to "sin" as something borne of Adam. They speak as though we all carry around some kind of disease originally caused by Adam's original sin.

They claim that we were born with this "original sin" - not due to anything we did - but all because Adam disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit.

They also claim that Jesus was God and that he "died for our sins." They claim that God became Jesus. And then they claim that God died.

Some claim that God had to incarnate as Jesus in order to sacrifice on the cross to relieve us of Adam's original sin. 

Really? Adam's sin became our sin? Then God came to earth as Jesus thousands of years later and died for our sins? But then God was raised? By whom?

This doctrine is beyond inaccurate - it is a fantasy. It has no substance. And it has no practical reality.

Why are these institutions teaching this fantasy philosophy? Because their interest is political rather than spiritual. Their interest is in retaining followers and gaining political advantage rather than devotion to the Supreme Being. 

They have created these fantasy philosophies to trick and scare people into becoming followers, or they will "go to hell."

By trying to scare people into attending their institutions and giving them alms, they are deceiving people.

The reality is that we are in hell right now. This is a place of pain, death, anxiety and constant struggle. But it is also a place of learning. A place of rehabilitation.

Is this about taking refuge in God?

By taking refuge in God we bypass all of the fear-mongering and struggles for power among professional institutions. By taking refuge in God we place our heart at God's feet, trusting that He will take care of us and protect us.

This is the peace that Jesus offers us. This is an orientation of the soul - an inner peace - that Jesus offered his followers.

Jesus had no purpose in creating peace among the communities or nations. He did not care about being a "peacemaker." Rather, his interest was in teaching the Truth.

His interest was in saving people from this world. His interest was in bringing us back to the spiritual realm of the Supreme Being.

Thus the correct interpretation of εἰρήνη (eirēnē) – means a state of internal tranquility. Peace from within.

To become peaceful from within also means to become purified – becoming aloof from the mundane issues of the material world. This type of purification also relates to salvation.

True "salvation" and being "saved" has nothing to do with what some promote - a cleansing of someone else's - Adam's - "original sin." And it is not for the purpose of feeling clean and pure so that we can proudly proclaim to others, "I am saved!"

Real salvation is a change of consciousness. It is a change from being self-centered to being God-centered. A person who is saved is a person who does not have their own interests in mind. They do not care whether they are cleansed or purified. They do not care whether they are healed or "saved." They simply want to do God's will. Their concern is pleasing the Supreme Being. They are the Supreme Being's caregiver, and their objectives are centered around doing what He wants them to do.

This also illustrates the meaning of "sin." Sin is self-centeredness and self-centered activity.

This concept of original sin is symbolic in that each of us who are here in the physical world seeking self-enjoyment made a decision at some point in our past that we no longer wanted to love the Supreme Being and be His caregiver. We didn't want to love God anymore. We wanted to be in God's position. Instead of serving God and others, we wanted God and others to serve us.

Once we made that choice, the Supreme Being put us into this physical world and these virtual physical bodies. This is our rehabilitation center. This physical world is full of consequence learning, to help us gradually realize that being self-centered is not our natural position.

And for those who want to return to the spiritual realm, the Supreme Being sends out His representatives to teach us how we can return home to Him. He sends His devoted loving servants who are committed to pleasing Him. And what pleases Him is bringing us home to Him.

Does God care about us?

Yes. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to return to Him and leave behind these temporary, virtual identities replete with loneliness, sadness, pain, disease and death. These physical bodies are not us. They are vehicles we drive for a short period. They are like cars we get in and drive (and identify with), and when they break down we leave them.

But should we retain our self-centered consciousness after leaving these bodies, we will return to this hellish physical world in other physical bodies. This is the hell that the teachers have warned us about. This physical world is hell. We are in hell now (although there are different degrees of hell). Hell is a place of suffering - a place of pain, hunger, disease, old age and death.

We might have, in the midst of the suffering of this world, fleeting moments of physical pleasure. But for the most part, these are gone as soon as they come, and are accompanied by pain and suffering as we compete with others for those things that provide these fleeting moments of physical pleasure.

The Supreme Being does not have to incarnate into a physical body to save us. He doesn't have to die on a cross. The Supreme Being never dies. He is eternal, and He is spiritual. He is above all requirements of sacrifice and holds all the power. While He created the physical world and His potency is resident within every atom, He is hidden from the view of the physical eyes and other physical senses, including the mind. He dwells personally in the spiritual realm.

Why can't the physical senses perceive the Supreme Being? Because this was part of His design - we are the ones who turned our backs on Him. We wished to be away from the Supreme Being at the time of our "original sin." We decided we no longer wanted to be with God. So to accommodate our wishes, He set up this world so we could not see Him anymore.

This is all because love requires freedom. The Supreme Being wants us to love Him out of freedom. We cannot be forced to love someone.

In order to provide that freedom, the Supreme Being had to create a virtual place where we could be virtually away from Him.

Is this world real?

This physical world is real, but in itself, it is not reality.

We might compare this physical world to a virtual reality computer game, where the user filters out what is going on around them and takes on a virtual identity - an icon or "avatar" - in the game. The game may then present so many scenarios to the user and the person may well become entrenched in the game, even to the point of forgetting for a few minutes his "real" identity outside the game.

Many tests have shown that people can quickly get lost in virtual reality games. Their hearts will speed up and their adrenaline increases as they fear for what happens to their virtual identities - even though they can get up and walk away from the computer at any time.

This can also happen in motion pictures, as people can become engrossed in a movie and begin to identify with those characters. They lose touch with their reality outside the movie theater as they get involved in the film. This is even though they know the film screenplay was fictional and those characters were all actors.

This is our tendency - to identify with something we are not. Why do we so easily become subjected to identifying with movie characters, or virtual video game icons? Why are television and movie dramas so popular?

Because we want to get lost in them. We want to become engrossed in an illusory identity. We want to escape reality. Why? Because we want to escape who we really are. While most figure it is to escape the pain and suffering of our physical reality (and partly so, it is) this is an extension of our desire to escape our real identities (because our real identities are found as we solve the problems of physical suffering). 

Our desire to escape reality is simply an extension of our desire to run away from the Supreme Being and run away from our natural position as His loving caregiver.

We can see from our ability to escape reality so easily that the Supreme Being allows us this freedom to escape. And for those who cannot escape reality far enough, we can turn to drugs and alcohol to further this escape from reality.

At the same time, the Supreme Being also wants to give those who want to know who they really are, and want to return home to their real identities, an opportunity to do so. It is for these people that He sends His loving representatives to teach us the Truth of who we really are and why we are here.

God's representative is not chosen by any political assembly of deacons or cardinals. God's representative is not paid a salary to teach. God's representative does not become wealthy from His teachings. This is a position of service. It is not a business deal. It is a sacred service of love and devotion for the Supreme Being.

This is what Jesus was doing, and was trying to give his students. He was trying to save those students who were following his teachings. He states clearly that "my peace I give you." He was handing over to his students the very element that provided for his own salvation: love for the Supreme Being.

This gift that Jesus was giving them was not a physical gift such as one might give someone a bike or a toy that they can go play with. The gift of tranquility that Jesus gave was the gift of a different consciousness. A different reality.

This is why Jesus could say, "I do not give to you as the world gives." The "world" - translated from the Greek κόσμος (kosmos) relates to the physical universe. This is the world of illusion and self-centeredness, where each of us seeks our own satisfaction or the satisfaction of our extended selves - our families, our nations or our organizations.

The gift of tranquility that Jesus is giving them is the consciousness that the Supreme Being is our Best Friend. He is our Soul Mate. He is that perfect person we look for throughout our lives to love and serve. He is, ultimately, our Savior and our Beloved.

This gift of a new reality is different from what the physical world gives because it is something that we do not enjoy for ourselves. It is something we give. Love for the Supreme Being is not something that we put in our pockets and keep. It is something we give. We give loving service to the Supreme Being and we give love of God to others.

This is why Jesus was trying to comfort his students. He had announced that he would be leaving them, as his physical body was going to be murdered, and he would be returning to the spiritual realm. 

They had nothing to fear for this, as the gift of love for God Jesus' teachings gave them would resonate within their lives and they would be serving God and giving that gift to others. They would be becoming "saviors" to others, and "sons [loving servants] of God."

This gift of love for God was Jesus' mission. No one has to die for us to be saved. We are saved simply by following the teachings of Jesus. And what was Jesus' primary teaching?
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)

*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
"I leave you with peace – my peace I give to you: Not as the material world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor be in fear.” (John 14:27)