A few years ago, as our extended family spent a long weekend together, we recalled many experiences and people we loved. As we talked about these things and looked at our adult children, it was apparent how many qualities and stories had been passed on from generation to generation. As a part of God’s family, he is passing on his story and purpose through us. Our role is to recall God’s story in our own lives, and to invite others to join in God’s great story. This passing on of his story is God’s plan for continuing the work Jesus began while on earth. It’s an important inheritance and purpose.
- What story is your family telling?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 20:19-23 (ESV)
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Why were the disciples in a locked room (vs. 19)?
- Repetition in Scripture is a signal to pay attention to something important. What phrase did Jesus repeat?
- Matthew 28:19-20 is called “The Great Commission”—Jesus sent his disciples to spread the gospel through the entire world. How is verse 21 also a commission?
- How did Jesus empower the disciples to complete their mission (vs. 22)?
- In what ways are you experiencing or limiting the peace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?
RESPOND TO GOD
How often are we like the disciples, closing the doors of our hearts, our homes, and our time to keep out something that we fear? In the midst of their isolation, the disciples looked up and saw Jesus. He didn’t wait to be invited; he came while they were locked in and afraid. Fear paralyzes; peace prepares and empowers. He gave the disciples a blessing of “Peace be with you,” and immediately followed it with a mission: go out into the world and tell my story. Jesus then gave them his Spirit to accomplish that mission. What was true for the disciples is true for us: he gives us his presence, his peace, his purpose, and the power to complete the work which he began.
- Thank God for the ways that Jesus has shown you his presence, his peace, his purpose, and his power in your life.
- Thank God that he sends Jesus in the midst of our fear to accomplish what only he can do.