By Brooke Holt
“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’” John 20:20-23
Jesus revealed himself to the disciples who had been hiding behind locked doors. This time with Jesus transformed these fearful men. In coming to them, Jesus greeted his fearful friends and followers with a simple word, “Shalom” which means “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Prior to this encounter, the disciples felt no peace -- just fear, grief, and confusion.
Looking at Jesus, seeing the wounds on his hands and side, confirmed the words Mary had spoken. Jesus truly was alive! Just imagine the joy that filled their hearts. Hope was not lost on Friday. Darkness had not won. The light of the world was standing before them once again. And the light brought peace. Jesus spoke the words again, “Peace be with you” (John 20:21). Would these words have a deeper impact at this point? I would imagine so as the peace of Jesus would have been palpable to those around him.
The conversation would not end there. Jesus offered peace to these men, but this peace was not absent of fear, trials, and adventure. Rather, this peace came in the midst of those things. Jesus went on to commission his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Three years of training with Jesus provided the foundation. Here, Jesus brought greater power to that commission and foundation as he breathed the Holy Spirit on them.
Where fear had bound the disciples to a locked room, the peace of Jesus along with the Holy Spirit would now send them out to build the Kingdom of God. The work of Jesus would continue even after he ascended to the Father. These men, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would now preach, teach, heal, and free those who were oppressed.
The work of building the kingdom continues and will continue until Jesus returns. Jesus comes to you. He offers you his peace, the Holy Spirit, and a calling. This calling may not always be easy. Like the disciples, you will experience times of fear, trial, and persecution. Receive the peace of Christ, live in the power of the Holy Spirit, and go anyway. Build the Kingdom of God: share the Gospel, pray, heal, minister, and serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lord, have your way in us today. Mold us and shape us through the power of your Holy Spirit. Equip us to do your work so that you can be seen and glorified in us and through us.
What has God called you to do today? Spend some time breathing in his peace, presence, and power then go in the name of Jesus Christ and do what he has called you to do! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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