Scripture Reading: John 20:18-23
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.’ And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:21-22)
On the evening of that first Easter, the disciples had gathered together. They were still very much afraid of the Jews, so they locked the doors. I imagine they were discussing the events of the weekend: Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, death and the empty tomb. Most of them still doubted. I would have loved to have been there to hear their discussion. They were afraid, confused and uncertain what to do.
Then suddenly Jesus came through the locked doors and stood among them. Can you imagine how shocked they were? This accounts for Jesus’ words to them: “Peace be with you” (v. 19). After He spoke these words, He showed them His hands and HIs side (v. 20). It was then that they disciples believed and they were filled with gladness (v. 21). Jesus’ presence and His words comforted them and assured them that He was truly alive.
Then Jesus spoke these words to them: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.” This is the culmination of John’s gospel account which presents Jesus as the One sent from the Father. Now the Sent One becomes the Sender, as He commissions His disciples to be His witnesses into all the world. When Jesus commissioned His disciples, He empowered them for the task: “And when He said this to them, He breathed on them and said, to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (v. 22).
This commission is given to all of Jesus’ followers throughout the ages. We are His witnesses who also have been given the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote: “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20).
Missionary God, You sent Jesus into the world and He in turn sends us. Jesus, You have empowered me by commissioning me to be Your witness and by giving Me the Holy Spirit. Let me be Your faithful mouthpiece by telling others the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
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