Jesus’ disciples feared for their lives, hiding from the leaders who had crucified their beloved Master. Suddenly the Lord Jesus himself was standing in their midst, speaking with them. They were thrilled to see that he was truly alive.
Jesus showed his disciples the marks left on his body from the nails that had held him on the old rugged cross and the sword that had pierced his side after he gave up his spirit. The fear caused by his death was shattered by joy at his presence.
“Peace to you all!” Jesus said to them. The peace he was speaking about, however, was not one of inactivity. His next words were these: “As the Father has sent me, I also am sending you.”
Jesus promised peace to his followers in the midst of a mission. They were being sent out by Jesus in the same way that Jesus had been sent out by God the Father. In what way did God send Jesus?
Jesus came in the Name of the Father (John 5:43). Now, his followers are sent in the Name of Jesus. Jesus came not to do his will, but the will of the One who sent him (John 6:38). The followers of Jesus carry out the will of God instead of living for themselves, building God’s Kingdom instead of their own and seeking God’s honor and praise instead of accolades for themselves.
God the Father sent Jesus into the world not for judgment (John 9:39), but so that people may have abundant life (John 10:10). As followers of Jesus, we too, are sent not to condemn the world but to announce the true source of abundant life. And what is that source?
Jesus said, “I am Light come into the world so that everyone trusting in me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). The source of abundant life is Jesus, the Light of the world. By trusting in him millions have found Life and Light. Billions more still need to hear the message and have the opportunity to choose life.
We go because Jesus came. Jesus came from heaven to earth but he also reached out to his neighbors. We go around the world and across the street because we are sent like Jesus was sent.
May we enjoy the peace of Christ as we fulfill the calling of Christ,
Brother Richard Foster, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR