The Word of God says, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19-26.
Many of us have sought to find inner peace, and when finding it, we struggle to keep it. This search has continued since the fall in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3. The prophet Isaiah said, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”, assures us. Isaiah 57:21. We will continue to experience false peace until this life ends. In our text, Jesus promised peace. Isaiah prophesied, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. The world offers pleasure, education, wealth, power, and fame, but that inward peace that we seek and want to keep comes when we obey the will of God. Jesus Christ is the source of true peace. Christians can rejoice that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. We can enjoy His peace and fellowship by walking in that light. 1 John 1:7. Our attitudes should always be filled with humility, as characterized by Jesus Christ. This peace that Jesus Christ gives is that “which passeth all understanding” and shields the heart and the thoughts through Christ. Philippians 4:7. This peace “is not of the world,” therefore; our hearts should not be alarmed of being “troubled” or “fearful.” The peace that Jesus gives should truly activate and energize us as Christians.
As Christians, we can have peace even when we are afraid. The disciples in our text were assembled for fear of the Jews. They were hiding. Jesus had been raised from the grave. He was alive! The tomb was empty. The promise of His resurrection was fulfilled. Shut doors could not shut out Christ’s presence! When Jesus came to the disciples, he speaks peace to fearful hearts. Obedient faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ takes our fears away. Remember, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21.
As Christians, we can have peace even when we are fearful. What did Jesus do? He showed them His hands that had been nailed to the cross and His side that confirmed His death to the soldiers. John 20:20-21. Here are the doubting disciples seeing the risen Christ. What would this mean to the disciples? Would these men be up to the responsibilities this would bring? Jesus is about to give them the task to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. Cf. Matthew 28:19. We can be at peace because we have all we need to “preach” and to “teach” the gospel of the risen Savior to the world. God has given “unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue…” 2 Peter 1:3. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
As Christians, we can have peace when we feel alone. John 20:26-29. Thomas missed the first meeting with Christ after His resurrection. However, now Thomas meets with the believing ones. He must have felt alone among these believers. Jesus brought proof and peace to Thomas who felt alone. Jesus told him “…be not faithless, but believing.”
Bobby D. Gayton