And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were near.
I. HE WHO IS OUR PEACE IS THE PUBLISHER OF PEACE. "And came and preached peace." He came as the Prince of peace, spoke of peace before his death as his parting legacy to the Church, and after his ascension to heaven sent forth his ambassadors with the gospel of peace to say, "We pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). What Christ does by the apostles he does by himself.
II. THE BURDEN OF THE GOSPEL - PEACE. The first word of the angelic annunciation was, "Peace on earth."
1. It is peace through the blood of Christ, which thus "speaketh better things than that of Abel."
2. It is peace through the righteousness of Christ: "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
3. It is the staple of the gospel, which is a gospel of peace proclaimed by ministers who are the publishers of peace.
4. It introduces sinners into the covenant of peace, which cannot be removed.
5. It has peace for its fruits, for believers have "joy and peace in believing;" "Great peace, have they that love thy Law;" "To be spiritually minded is life and peace;" "They that trust in the Lord are kept in perfect peace;" "They dwell in peaceable habitations, in quiet resting-places."
III. THE PERSONS TO WHOM PEACE IS PREACHED. "To you that are afar off and to them that are nigh." There was peace for both Jew and Gentile. It was peace for the world. There is no restriction upon the message of peace. "The Lord shall bless his people with peace" (Psalm 29:11). "Great shall be the peace of thy children." The proof that the peace has this wide and blessed efficacy is our free access to the Father by Jesus Christ. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.