Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21 (NIV)
There are times where Jesus repeats Himself. When He does it is no accident. One could argue that it was customary in the culture of His day. But Jesus is not the customary type. Instead, the Son of God consistently works on a level far higher and more directed that we can ever imagine. He has God-sized work to do and His students have a limited learning capacity and short attention span. We often need repetition to get the point He is trying to teach us. So again Jesus says “Peace be with us.” Do we get it? Or should we bring the matter back to Him? Could even the most saintly amongst us shrug off our pride and bow to bended knee? Christ says that as He is sent so He is sending us. Do we think we had better get the message straight before we go charging off with what might be a misunderstanding? Do we think we should ask God to clear up for us why Jesus was sent and why in the world we should be sent by Him?
Now our standard interpretation to Jesus sending us is that we march out like an army to win converts to our religious institutions or to Christianity as a whole. We love to picture ourselves as brave and obedient soldiers fighting the Lord´s battle against all the evil that would confront Him. However true it is that God is dealing with this whole matter of evil, the nature of fighting is not the one Jesus took on or taught us. We can see His example leading us in quite a different direction. So those who are concerned in pleasing the Lord rather than their own egos might want to seek a more humble impression of our situation. If we want to have the power of Heaven and of God working on our behalf then we need to learn to depend on His strength and not our own. If Jesus is not sending us out to fight a battle that He has already fought, then what is our mission? Where can we go to find out? Can we go again to God´s Word? Do we come to Him in prayer? Can we sit at the feet of Jesus and hear each day His voice repeating to us? There with our pride bared at His feet, with our tender hearts exposed, what can we hear? Can we hear Him whisper again of peace?
Peace is a curious commodity. As we use the term today in our society it is generally a farce. We try to use it to picture the absence of fighting or quarreling, when actually it is only better hidden. No, the Bible uses peace to describe a blissful state not achieved by earthly means but by the Presence of the Creator. Peace is when the soul is in harmony with God. Peace is when His creation is near enough to Him that all else becomes of no threat or worry. So when Jesus repeats Himself to offer us Peace, what is He telling our hearts? Is He giving us a healthy dose of God? Is He placing us within reach of our Father? Is this how and when Peace can come to us? Is Jesus the only Way Peace is ever truly ours? Is this what He was sent to bring us? Is the Peace of God what we too could be sent to share with the world?
Thank You for being patient and not giving up on us. Help us past our difficulties in understanding. Help us to get past them and right unto You! Help us get so close to You now that we can experience the Peace You came to represent and to teach. Give us such a healthy share of You that we in turn can reflect it unto the world around us. Give us the Peace that is found in You, that is sent from God, and that can more than feed us and those sent into our lives!