Luke 2: 13-14 “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’”
What do you picture when you hear of God’s glory? Don’t you picture a scene of heavenly magnificence? The light emanating from the host of angels is almost blinding. Their voices boom and echo not just with words, but with power. The glory of God led Moses to cover his face at the burning bush, Isaiah to cry out in fear at his call into the ministry, and us to tremble at the thought yet today.
What do you picture when you hear of peace on earth and God’s favor resting on men? Now the image is a very different one, isn’t it? Not a frightening display of God’s power and brilliance, but a tranquil and serene scene, something like that described in Psalm 23, comes to mind. God is gently leading his people to quiet waters and green pastures. We feel safe and at home. The mood is almost hushed.
This contrast between God’s glory and man’s peace finds its resolution in the baby lying in the manger. Nothing brings more glory to God than Jesus. The real substance of God’s glory; what truly brings him honor, praise, and worship; what makes him magnificent and sets him above all things, is not to be found in brilliant displays of light or thunderings of his law. The real glory of God is found in the unwavering love that led him to sacrifice the only Son he had to save us from our sins. The real glory of God can be viewed only in the person and work of Jesus.
Nothing brings us real peace except the person and work of that same Jesus. Only the Savior, who was not only born for us, but also lived and died in our place to set us free, can convince us that we are safe and at home with this glorious God.
Jesus is the glory of God that brings us peace.