Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:14)
Rick Walston, founder and president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary, reminds us of the primary meaning behind Luke 2:14. “People often chant ‘Peace on earth good will toward men,’ as a way of saying that we should have good will between our fellow humans during Christmas season.” They imply, says Dr. Watson, “have ‘peace on earth’ during this time.”
But what was actually meant by the angels on that night in the pasture was not “peace between men of good will” or even “peace and good will between men.” It was peace on earth and good will toward men from God. It was a gift.
Furthermore, says Pastor Mark Roberts of the Laity Lodge in the Hill Country of Texas, “Every modern translation of which I am aware appears to limit good will to those who please God, not to all people.” For example, The Message reads…
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. (Luke 2:14).
Reading further in Luke reveals the true identity of the infant Jesus whom Simeon blessed along with his parents in the Jerusalem temple. Jesus’ objective went beyond to Israel — even to the world.
Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)
Simeon recognized that Jesus came to reveal God’s love to all people — Israel and beyond.
Christmas is a good time to reflect on Jesus Christ. His gift is available to everyone. Decide if you want God’s peace and his good will toward you. If so, accept his one and only Son as your savior. No one else can give you peace with God. No one else can cause God to pour out his good will toward you.