Peace be With You

Peace be With You

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.'” (John 20:19)

The disciples met in a place known to them alone; they locked themselves up, and the reason was that they were afraid of the Jews. In times of fear, they saw the need for them to unite. Why were they scared? The answer is straightforward: looking at the way their incredible leader (Jesus Christ) has been dealt with by the Jews, every sane person will be cautious, especially at this point where they saw him die without resisting or at least coming out with some miracle to save himself, they had no idea whether he will resurrect as he said and it has been days now, and there is no sign of him. 

The death of Jesus was vicious, illegal, shameful, unjust, and very brutal. The excruciating pain and suffering he went through before he died is something no one will even wish for his worst enemy. They had no idea what the Jewish people would be planning for them, so the fear was great; therefore, the best option was for them to come together and protect themselves by staying behind closed doors. 

In their time of hopelessness, despair, uncertainty, fear, sadness, and dilemma, Jesus stands in their midst, and his first words are, ‘Peace be with you’. The love of Jesus has no end; he knew the state his beloved disciples were in, and he came to them at the right time to bring His peace, which surpasses all understanding. Jesus showed them his state, his hands, and his side. At that moment, the disciples were filled with Joy because they had seen the Lord. In this passage, ‘Peace be with you’ is said three times, portraying to all of us that the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ is vital in our Christian journey. 

Jesus then sent them out, breathed on them the Holy Spirit, and empowered them: 

 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ (John 20:23).

Thomas missed the first appearance of Jesus, and when he was told, he doubted, but Jesus came in again and proved to him that he was alive. He believed after Jesus showed him his hands and side. We cannot blame Thomas too much, but Jesus clarified that we should not doubt him: 

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.'” (John 20:29). 

The disciples’ experience with Jesus strengthened their faith, hope was restored, their fears left them, they had a sense of purpose, and they had direction and became more united. In the readings from Acts of the Apostles, we see how the host of believers became united. Their unity was termed ‘heart and soul’; no selfishness existed. “No one claimed for his use anything that he had”; they shared everything they had. We must share, and I must say last week was so wonderful; everybody brought something for the get-together party held in honour of Fr. Matthew and his family. We all ate together, which is very healthy when walking with Jesus. Because the believers had united hearts and souls, they were bold in testifying to the resurrection with great power. The ministry in this church needs a united front in all aspects, and we must help each other help bring up those who are down. Every person is important in this journey. We must support each other so that no one is left behind. God wants unity from us; if we love him, he wants us to be united and work together heart and soul. God commands us to love one another and stay united.

Loving God is obeying his commandments, and by obeying his commands, we overcome the world through the power of his resurrection. We can only overcome the world when we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died and rose again on the third day and that he is the world’s saviour. So, we must always be thankful to God for his love, which endures forever.  

Let us know that Jesus will come to us with peace that surpasses all understanding when we find ourselves in fear, uncertainty, hopelessness, and challenging times. He has empowered and poured on us his Holy Spirit, which must encourage us to proclaim his resurrection to the ends of the world with power. He commands us to stay united, heart and soul and love one another by supporting each other. AMEN