The phrase “Prince of Peace” holds so much meaning. It is so much more than meets the eye. This portion of Scripture often comes to focus during Christmas because it is a season of happiness, calm, and peace. But couldn’t we do with a Christmas spirit of peace all year round? In this post, we look closer at this tiny phrase and dig deeper into what it means for us.
The Prince of Peace Scripture
Before we get into our study, here are two versions of Isaiah 9:6 so we have some Scripture base.
Prince of peace NIV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Prince of peace KJV
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Background – the prince of peace in Isaiah 9:6
The book of Isaiah captures the ministry of the prophet from whom the book is named. Throughout most of the book of Isaiah, Israel is given a message of condemnation and judgment from God. He tells Israel that they will be attacked and enslaved by various nations surrounding them.
The people of Israel were guilty of ALOT of really bad sins that made God very disappointed and angry.
Nevertheless, right alongside the punishment that Isaiah prophesies, God also sends a message of his future plans to save His people from themselves and their sins.
And this plan was an eternal one. Because God just never gives up on those He loves.
In Isaiah 9, the prophet explains God’s plan in one of the messianic prophecies in Scripture. The chapter begins with really good news (compared with Chapter 8 which is filled with not so good news).
In verses 6 and 7, Isaiah paints a picture of the coming Messiah. He describes the character, personality, and role of the Messiah who would come to save God’s people.
And one of the things Isaiah said about the Messiah was that He would be the Prince of Peace.
Who is called the prince of peace?
The phrase prince of peace is the last bit of Isaiah 9:6. For us to understand who this phrase is talking about, we have to get a broader context by reading more verses.
I recommend that you read the entire chapter. But for our tiny study, let’s just look at two verses to give us a bigger picture:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6)
To find out who is the prince of peace, we have to find out who the entire passage is about.
Jesus the prince of peace
Not everyone agrees about the identity of Jesus. Some religions see him as only a prophet. Others see him as just a magician who lived at some point in history.
Still others are convinced that he is only one of the wisest men who ever lived like Gandhi and Confusious.
But the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7 helps us to realize that Christ is the prince of peace.
The first part of Isaiah 9:6 says For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. This portion prophecies that a baby, more specifically, a boy baby, would be born.
In other places in the book of Isaiah, the prophet talks about a virgin birth of a son (Isaiah 7:14).
There are a number of Scriptures in the New Testament which documents that Jesus was born as a baby and was the son of a human mother. Here are two of them.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. Luke 1:31-32 ESV
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son… Matthew 1:23 ESV
There are also a number of Bible verses which make reference to Jesus and his characteristic of peace. One of them is in Luke 2 where the Christmas story is most popularly read from.
When an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in the field, another choir of angels appeared and declared:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Luke 2:14
Prince of peace meaning
What does the Bible say about the Prince of Peace? Let’s break down this phrase so we can learn what it means in a literal sense.
The Hebrew word for prince is sar which means ruler, chief, captain. We get a picture here of a leader. And a strong one at that.
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. You’re probably familiar with this word. It is commonly used as Jewish greeting.
But in this instance, Isaiah was certainly not prophesying Jesus to be the chief of greetings. That seems laughable.
Shalom in this verse means more than just the absence of war. It is referring to all kinds of peace. Any kind of peace you can think of, it fits under the category of shalom. Wholeness. Welfare. Physical Health. Prosperity. Quietness. Mental and emotional stability.
When we put these two words together we get the full picture: Jesus captains peace, no matter what it looks, no matter which area of life you’re talking about, no matter who has a problem.
When it comes to peace, Jesus is your go to. He is large and in charge!
Let’s dig into this some more.
3 Reasons why Jesus is called the prince of peace
Now that we know what the phrase means, we can now dig even deeper.What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of peace? And how can we apply this truth to our daily lives?
3. Jesus restored peace between God and humanity
In the beginning, there was perfect peace because life was perfect. Adam and Eve experienced no form of conflict, whether inside their hearts or around them. That is, until they sinned.
Their sin broke their relationship with God. Their disobedience introduced conflict between God and man. Since then, we have become enemies of God.
The apostle Paul uses words like “enmity” or “hostile” to describe our hearts towards God (Romans 8:7). We do not naturally want God. We are constantly at war with him.
Because God is so holy, our sinful condition could never allow us to survive his presence. But in the same breath, God is so in love with us that He couldn’t bear not being able to have a peaceful and intimate relationship with us.
Enter the plan of salvation through Jesus.
When Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be the prince of peace, he was telling his audience that Jesus would resolve the conflict between God and man. Jesus would bring back the peace.
Paul explains it in multiple places in the New Testament:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:13-17
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossian 1:19-20
Through Jesus you’re relationship with the Heavenly trio has been secured. You don’t have to fight God anymore.
You have been set free to have a peaceful and personal relationship with God.
So go ahead and spend time in prayer and Bible study. Get to know God for yourself.
2. Jesus has power over the peace in nature
As I said before, Jesus being the prince of peace means he has control over all types of peace.
Not only did he bring back peace in our relationship with God, but He also brings peace to the natural world.
Natural disasters have been a part of the human experience for eons. Thanks to the effect of sin ” the whole creation groans”.
The disciples got a taste of this one night. It had been a long day of ministry. Jesus was so exhausted that as soon as he got into their little boat, he fell asleep.
As the disciples piloted the vessel across the sea of Galilee, a violent storm suddenly overtook the dark waters.
They became frantic. There was so much water getting into the boat that it seemed as though it would sink.
Interestingly, Jesus remained asleep through the turbulence. When the disciples woke him up, Jesus resolved the whole situation with a single command.
The KJV of Mark 4:39 says,
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
The word peace in this verse means to be silent or quiet. And the word for be still means to close the mouth or become speechless.
Jesus spoke to the storm like you would to a boisterous, disobedient, out-of-control pet. He told the storm to shut up.
And the elements of nature obeyed!
With a single command, Jesus brought back peace to the natural world. He’s the prince of peace who participated in creating this world.
Jesus called it into existence and he holds the key and the power to keep it under subjection.
3. Only Jesus can give real peace
How about the storms of your life? Does Jesus control peace enough to take of those too?
He absolutely does!
Peace does not mean the same thing for everyone. But no matter how people define it, there is only one way to true peace.
And he gives peace freely to those who receive Him.
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
Over and over when he interacted with people, Jesus greeted them with peace, commanded them to go in peace, or lavished peace on them.
To the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus said ““Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)
As Jesus prepared his disciples for his crucified and the persecution that they would endure because of their faith in him, He told them:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Because Jesus is the prince of peace, He alone can give to us the confidence to face this life without fear. The peace He gives us
….allows us to bounce back from trauma,
….to be content even when the finances are not adding up,
….to believe Him for healing when medical professionals say otherwise.
….to laugh when we should be crying.
Final words on the Prince of peace
Whew! Such encouragement from a tiny portion of Scripture. Jesus is our prince of peace.
He is never far off as some think. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is always near to us, speaking peace into our hearts, calming the storms of our lives, healing the wounds that disturb our peace.
If you will allow him to truly be prince in your life, then the peace he gives will be completely yours. Then, as Paul puts it:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)