Daily Devotional: John 20:19-23
Jesus is the One who gives peace! His peace comforts us and commissions us.
Over Easter weekend, in reading through the end of the gospel of John, I came upon John 20:19-23. I was reminded of several wonderful truths about our Risen Redeemer.
The disciples locked themselves in a house for fear of the Jews (20:19) as they were afraid that the Pharisees and ruling authorities were going to arrest them, supposing that they were responsible for the disappearance of Jesus’ body.
What, or more importantly, WHO can give peace that surpasses even the most trial-filled circumstances? The Reigning Ruler of the Universe who Conquers Sin and Death.
Jesus comes to his disciples in the midst of their fear and uncertainty. What does he do? He comforts them. How does he comfort them? He comforts them with his resurrected presence and the powerful words, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Jesus Himself is our peace. The One who was crucified has now risen from the dead and utters these powerful, reassuring and hopeful words to his disciples. PEACE. It is no coincidence that the epistles most often begin with the words "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” These are not just space-filler introductory words, these are what our hope and assurance are founded upon; the reality that we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ peace not only comforts the disciples but commissions them as well. "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you'" (verse 21). He continues, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” The peace of God commissions (directs, commands) us as sent ones from Him. Sent to the world to bear the message of reconciliation with a lost world who needs to hear of the resurrection and that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The resurrection of Jesus brings a peace that is eternal and ever-present.
We are not intended to muster up strength in ourselves. In fact, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to enable us to carry out the witness of the Gospel (John 20:22-23).
You might be fearful or frustrated in this current moment, but let us be strengthened by the peace that Jesus brings and let us be compelled forward to take the message of Jesus to those around us who are in need of eternal peace found only in Christ Jesus.