“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.’” (John 20:20–21)
Jesus met the fearful disciples as they hid behind closed doors. Without invitation, warning, or even knocking, Jesus entered their hideout with a simple greeting: “Peace be with you” (20:19). Jesus brought peace with his presence. He didn’t just speak but showed the disciples his hands and his side. The marks were there to testify that this was indeed their Jesus. He had hung on the cross just days before. He died and was buried, and they thought all hope was gone. But now, Jesus was here!
These fearful, hiding disciples would once again be transformed by the presence and person of Jesus. Fear was replaced with gladness as they saw the Lord. Jesus understood the despair of the last few days. He knew their disappointment, he understood their fear, and he even knew why they fled and denied him. Jesus knew these men, and he loved them even in their failures and imperfections. Jesus met them in their messiness and brought peace.
Jesus also brought them a commission. Just as the Father had sent Jesus to build his kingdom on the earth—to preach and teach, to heal and drive out demons—so now Jesus was sending out the disciples. They were imperfect men who hid due to fear, who didn’t understand the message of Jesus even though they had heard it many times. They were friends who left Jesus in his time of greatest need. These were the men that Jesus sent out to continue his work.
Jesus charged them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (20:21).
And you know the rest of the story. They went, and they faithfully built the kingdom of God. They received power when the Holy Spirit came, but they were still human, still sinners who fell short of the glory of God. They needed a Savior. In fact, their lives were so radically changed by that Savior that they were willing to give their lives on his behalf.
Jesus understood the disciples’ many flaws and weaknesses—and he knows yours as well. He sees the times that you fail and falter and doubt. He brings his grace and forgiveness to your sins. Through his death and resurrection, he brings you his peace. He reveals himself to you through his Word, and he sends you out to build his kingdom.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). You have been sent by Jesus!
Have you received your commission to go out and build the kingdom? What would the Lord have you to know about his call on your life today? How does he want to bring you his peace, grace, and assurance? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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