So Send I You

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, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ~ John 20:19-22

This visit with you is once again inspired by one of those verses that leaps up off the page to stand out. One of those “little” things that turn out to be not so little when we take some time to think about it. In this case, what struck me in this passage is that almost the FIRST thing Jesus did after coming to His disciples after the resurrection was to commission them to reach the lost!

Because Jesus truly is our Good Shepherd, the very first thing He does is to calm the disciples’ fears. They’re already rattled because they’ve seen Him die ~ the very One they thought was going to change their world, not be taken out of it. They’re worried about the authorities coming after them because they associated with Jesus, so they’ve got themselves locked in for the night. And finally, they’re understandably astounded when Jesus up and appears in their midst ~ alive, not dead, and not arriving in a normal fashion. The general fear is there’s a ghost in their midst! Scientific Dr. Luke, in his gospel account, tells us that Jesus goes so far as to ask for food from them to assure them that He truly is risen from the dead and not a ghost.

With their understandable shock factor compassionately and definitively addressed, Jesus again settles His disciples with “Peace to you!” so that they can now hear what it is He’s come to tell them: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” It’s the first direction He gives them for their new lives with Him and it’s also the last thing He gives them as directions before He returns to the Father. (Matthew 28:19-20) If the first direction Jesus says to His people on returning to them from the dead is to go out to the lost with the gospel, and if the last thing He says to His people before He leaves to return to His Father is to go share the good news of salvation, we can readily see what is important to Jesus! We can see plainly what it is we’re to do… but the reality is ~ for most of us ~ this is not what we do very much or at all!

We have a long list of reasons for not obeying the Lord in this: It’s scary. I’m too shy. I’m not an evangelist. I don’t have the gift of evangelism. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to do it wrong and mess this up for someone! Jesus knew it wouldn’t be easy.  He walked this earth, He felt the things we feel, and He Lived Life as we do! He gets it ~ He understands us, and He is still our Good Shepherd! So the very next thing Jesus says to His disciples in His first meeting with them is, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He immediately gives them, and us, help! Earlier in their time together Jesus taught His disciples that the Holy Spirit is The Comforter! The One Who will teach us all things, including how to follow this direction/command from the Lord. (John 14:26) Jesus goes on, at that time, to assure His people in the next verse “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) It is this gift He’s reminding His disciples of when He appears among them, after the resurrection, to send them out.

Jesus knows who His people are as He has the apostle Paul write:  For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth… (1 Corinthians 1:26) Jesus knows who we are and how we are ~ just like His disciples in that locked room were ~ and so not only does He send us, He promises And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Mt. 28:20) We are sent to share the good news, but we’re not sent alone and we can do this! Our Good Shepherd does not send us where He cannot uphold us, but send us He does!

It doesn’t have to be scary or complex to share the good news of salvation with others. We share easiest what we know best ~ what we have experienced more than what we “believe”. So take some time in your quiet time and/or as you’re going through your day to think about all that you have experienced with God. Then think, and pray, about sharing that with people you know who don’t know God. The Lord will lead you and be with you and will help you! …for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)


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