John 20:19-31

Father, every bit of the person You’d have me to be, I long to be.

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“… Peace be with You!” (v19 NIV)

You popped into a locked room, Jesus!  Good thing You conveyed Your peace in that instant.  From some other reading, I understand that phrase to have been a common Hebrew greeting; so it would’ve been like You suddenly appearing inside a locked room today and saying, “Hi!”  Then, You showed Your hands and side, like saying all together, “Hi! It’s Me!”

“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'” (v 21 NIV)

Here Your words of greeting reassured Your disciples of Your real presence.  Your appearance before them served to “renew their devotion and their hopes but it also renewed their commission as disciples.”  (Tenney, p. 193) ** You’d commissioned them with Your message to take to people and then You died.  Now, You were alive again and Your message carried on through them!

You had come into the world to fulfill Your Father’s purpose and You did it completely.  Next, You expected Your disciples to continue Your work in Your absence.  You’d been sent by Your Father to (1) SPEAK HIS WORDS; (2) DO HIS WORKS; and (3) LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR THE SALVATION OF MEN.

So, in Your absence, You now expect Your disciples (including me) to (1) DELIVER YOUR MESSAGE (15:27); (2) DO GREATER WORKS THAN YOU HAD DONE (14:12); and (3) GIVE MY LIFE IN YOUR SERVICE.  In carrying out Your work, I am blessed “with all the privileges, all the protection, and all the responsibilities that You had during Your ministry.” (Tenney, p. 193) **

“… Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with You!’  Then He said to Thomas …” (vv 26-27 NIV)

Another arrival, another greeting — this time for the purpose of undergirding the faith of just one of Your disciples…  You are genuinely concerned about the faith of EACH ONE who follows You.  You meet EACH ONE at the point of his/her deepest need.

“Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book.  These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way He personally revealed it” (v 31 MSG).

Thank You, Jesus, for revealing Your Father’s love for me through the choice You made to die in my place, for all the sin I have done or will ever do.  Thank You for securing an eternal home for me by Your death on the cross.  Thanks for the purpose and mission You have given me to carry out in Your absence, until Your return, as You make me just like Jesus.

Your mission for me: “God has created me for such a time as this for the purpose of helping children, youth and adults apply His Word to life, through interpersonal relationships, resource connections, an intercessory prayer” Col. 1:28-29 NIV

**John by Merrill C. Tenney, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.

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