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Peace Be With You

 

peace be with you

peace be with you

In John’s Gospel, Jesus is the very Word of God, one with God (John 1:1). He is the one Word that brings peace. The days following Jesus’ death and mysterious resurrection is a time of confusion, disappointment, grief and fear for the disciples. Peace is one thing they lack.

Jesus returns from the realm of the dead after only three short days, leaving behind him the empty tomb. But the disciples are still imprisoned in their tomb behind the locked doors of the house after eight long days ‘for fear of the Jews’ [20:19]. Without peace they may as well be dead.

Jesus visits them twice in that week and twice says to them, ‘Peace be with you’ [vv19, 21]. Perhaps he was repeating himself to make a point.

On his next visit a week later, Jesus says it a third time [v26] yet their fear and lack of trust continues to lock up their hearts and minds.

Eventually they unbolt and throw open the doors, and risking all, go forth with the commission given by the risen Christ.

We must note that their lives were not suddenly free of conflict or trouble simply because they obeyed our Lord. Even among themselves, tensions remained. From the very beginning believers have been prone to disagree with one another.

Yet the peace that Jesus gives is not freedom from conflict, or from a challenging life. Rather, it is something wonderful that flows through us as an inner calm in the midst of whatever strife we are experiencing. Jesus didn’t call them out of their tomb with promises of an easy life. He clearly states that he didn’t come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34, Luke 12:51). But he does give a kind of peace that passes all understanding – one that allows us to live calmly amidst the ups and downs of life.

Can we be at peace when our world is turned upside down? Yes! Because we have the one Word that is Peace.

 

 

BULLETIN INSERT   Lismore Anglican Parish

7.30am Lismore, 10am Dunoon Sun 7TH April 2013

 

John 20:19-31     Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 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.’ 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

 

Jesus and Thomas     24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

 

Acts 5: 27-32     27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ 29But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’

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