Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The two main points to be observed are the comprehensiveness of the apostle's loving wish, and the source to which he looks for its fulfilment. It is perhaps accidental that we have here the union of the Greek and of the Eastern forms of salutation. Just as the regal title of the King, whose throne was the Cross, was written in the languages of culture, of law, and of religion, as an unconscious prophecy of His universal reign; so, with like unintentional felicity, we have blended here the ideals of good which the East and the West have framed for those to whom they wish good, in token that Christ is able to slake all the thirsts of the soul, and that whatsoever things any races of men have dreamed as the chiefest blessing, these are all to be reached through Him, and Him only. But the deeper lesson here is to be found by observing that "grace" refers to the action of the Divine heart, and "peace" to the result thereof in man's experience. "Grace" is free, undeserved, unmotived, self-springing love. It is love which stoops, forgives, communicates. Hence it comes to mean, not only the deep fountain in the Divine nature, and that property in His love by which, like some strong spring, it leaps up and gushes forth by an inward impulse, in neglect of all motives drawn from the lovableness of its objects, such as determine our poor human loves, but also the results of that bestowing love in men's characters, or, as we say, the" graces" of the Christian soul. "Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report," all nobilities, tendernesses, exquisite beauties, and steadfast strengths of mind and heart, of will and disposition — all are the gifts of God's undeserved and open-handed love. The fruit of such grace received is peace. That old Eastern salutation "peace" recalls a state of society when every stranger might be a foe; but it touches a chord which vibrates in all hearts. We have little fear of war, but we are all weighed upon with sore unrest, and repose sometimes seems to us the one thing needful. All the discords of nature and circumstances can be harmonised by that grace which is ready to flow into our hearts. Peace with God, with ourselves, with our fellows, repose in the midst of change, calm in conflict, may be ours.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.