Luke 2:14 KJVGlory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
On earth peace – That is, the gospel will bring peace. The Savior was predicted as the Prince of peace, Isaiah 9:6. The world is at war with God; sinners are at enmity against their Maker and against each other. There is no peace to the wicked. But Jesus came to make peace; and this he did,
1. By reconciling the world to God by His atonement.
2. By bringing the sinner to a state of peace with his Maker; inducing him to lay down the weapons of rebellion and to submit his soul to God, thus giving him the peace which passes all understanding.
3. By diffusing in the heart universal good-will to people – “disposing,” people to lay aside their differences, to love one another, to seek each other’s welfare, and to banish envy, malice, pride, lust, passion, and covetousness – in all ages the most fruitful causes of difference among people. And,
4. By diffusing the principles of universal peace among nations. If the gospel of Jesus should universally prevail, there would be an end of war. In the days of the millennium there will be universal peace; all the causes of war will have ceased; people will love each other and do justly; all nations will be brought under the influence of the gospel. O how should each one toil and pray that the great object of the gospel should be universally accomplished, and the world be filled with peace!
Good will toward men – The gift of the Savior is an expression of good-will or love to people, and therefore God is to be praised. The work of redemption is uniformly represented as the fruit of the love of God, John 3:16; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 4:10; Revelation 1:5. No words can express the greatness of that love. It can only be measured by the “misery, helplessness,” and “danger” of man; by the extent of his sufferings here and in the world of woe if he had not been saved; by the condescension, sufferings, and death of Jesus; and by the eternal honor and happiness to which he will raise his people. All these are beyond our full comprehension. Yet how little does man feel it! and how many turn away from the highest love of God, and treat the expression of that love with contempt! Surely, if God so loved us “first,” we ought also to love him, 1 John 4:19.