14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
1901 ASV Translation:
14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.
The Textus Receptus of 2:14 omits the final "s" on the word "good will" which the Nestle/Aland 26 retains. This significantly alters the realm of possible meanings. This issue is addressed below.
I. The issue of the paragraph is the angelic announcement of a message of great joy.
II. The issues of great joy have everything to do with the arrival of the Savior and little to nothing to do with the other "arrivals" -- circumstances, people, etc.
1. The Requirements of the Experience of Peace are...
A. Fundamentally, if it is to be real, peace must begin in that realm of man's attitude toward God.
1. It probably ought to go without saying that this "beginning" has to address the question of whether or not I am going to seek the glory that is only due to God, but it often does not.
2. By the same token, it ought to go without saying that this "beginning" has to also address the question of whether, in allowing God to be the One Who decides and acts, I trust sufficiently in His gracious character to be confident that He intends good for me. One of the most fundamental reasons men do not want "salvation" to be God's choice is that they are afraid that will mean "He won't/didn't choose me".
B. And, just as fundamentally, peace among men will only exist as men cease to try to force from others what only God can give.
1. It does go without saying that conflict among men is caused by men seeking to obtain what they do not have.
2. What is often overlooked is that the vast majority of "things" men do not have, and are willing to fight to get, aren't worth the fight -- because they are not the "thing" that is really desired. The most basic of all desires are the three God created within us in Genesis 1:27 -- physical satisfaction, emotional security, and spiritual status. These, no man can give us. So, to fight with men over them is a fool's errand. The sooner men see this, the sooner they will experience peace.
C. And the other side of the coin is this: men are going to be "doing" as long as a spirit resides in their bodies, so their "doings" need to be in harmony with the gracious God as He seeks to meet men's needs. This eliminates strife.