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Luke 2:14—“Peace on Earth to Everyone Who Pleases God”

Luke 2:14—“Peace on Earth to Everyone Who Pleases God”

 “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”—Luke 2:14, New World Translation.

 “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.”—Luke 2:14, Contemporary English Version.

Meaning of Luke 2:14

 These words of praise, proclaimed by angels at the time of Jesus’ birth, indicate that those who put faith in Jesus can enjoy God’s approval and experience peace.

 “Glory in the heights above to God.” By means of this expression, the angels emphasize that God is worthy of receiving all glory. The expression also draws attention to the fact that Jesus’ birth and earthly ministry would greatly contribute to Jehovah a God’s glory. For example, Jesus always gave credit to God for what he taught, such as when he said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me.” (John 7:16-18) When Jesus performed miracles, onlookers often “began to glorify God.” (Luke 5:18, 24-26; John 5:19) Even Jesus’ death contributed to God’s glory. It opened the way for God to accomplish his grand purpose of filling the earth with righteous and peace-loving humans.—Genesis 1:28.

 “On earth peace.” This peace involves much more than just the absence of war. It includes the peace, or inner calm, that is only possible when a person has Jehovah’s approval. Thanks to Jesus, humans can achieve this peaceful relationship with God. (James 4:8) And as King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus will bring complete and lasting peace to the whole earth.—Psalm 37:11; Luke 1:32, 33.

 “Men of goodwill.” This expression refers to people who have God’s goodwill, or favor, because of their genuine faith in him and the one whom he sent, Jesus. It does not refer to an expression of God’s goodwill toward all humans regardless of their attitudes and actions, nor does it refer to the goodwill that humans may show. Some Bible translations, such as the King James Version, render this expression “good will towards men.” However, older more reliable Greek manuscripts support the rendering of the New World Translation and many other modern translations in conveying the idea of peace among people whom God approves.—See “ Luke 2:14 From Additional Translations.”

Context of Luke 2:14

 Luke chapter 2 describes the early years of Jesus’ life as a human. Soon after his birth, an angel appeared to shepherds who were “living out of doors and keeping watch in the night over their flocks.” b (Luke 2:4-8) The angel announced “good news of a great joy,” telling the shepherds: “Today there was born to you in David’s city a savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9-11) The shepherds were told where they could find the newborn, and then they witnessed a multitude of spirit creatures praising God. Upon reaching Bethlehem, the shepherds found Mary and Joseph along with the baby Jesus. (Luke 2:12-16) After relating their amazing experience, the shepherds returned to their flocks, “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”—Luke 2:17-20.

 Luke 2:14 From Additional Translations

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”—Luke 2:14, New International Version.

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”—Luke 2:14, Good News Translation.

 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”—Luke 2:14, English Standard Version.

 Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Luke.

a Jehovah is the personal name of God. (Psalm 83:18) See the article “Who Is Jehovah?

b The fact that the shepherds were spending the night outdoors indicates that these events did not take place in winter. To learn more, read the article “When Was Jesus Born?