Sunday 23 April 2017

Bible Book:

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” (v. 21)

John 20:19-31 Sunday 23 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm 16


The work of mission doesn't wait. Resurrection day hasn'tfinished and the risen Jesus is already reminding the disciplesthat this new reality is not served by hiding away in their meetingroom.

The writer uses that strange phrase "the doors of the house …were locked for fear of the Jews" (v. 19) when we know that thosebehind the locked doors were themselves Jews.

Who are they afraid of? The NIVUK Bible renders "fear of theJews" as "fear of the Jewish leaders" which makes more sense. Mobrule stirred up by those who had engineered the crowd's chorus of"Crucify him!" (Mark 15:11-15) would have frightened off mostpeople.

But as they hide behind the locked doors the disciples encountersomething even more scary. How do you handle a risen Jesus?

The writer of the Gospel doesn't give us any of the lead-in thatLuke has in Acts 1. There the disciples are sent to wait in theirroom (Acts 1:4-8) for the gift of the Holy Spiritwhile Jesus ascends to heaven.

In John's Gospel, the risen Christ appears on the evening ofResurrection Day, breathes the Holy Spirit on his friends (verse22) and signals the start of the new outreach campaign: "As theFather has sent me, so I send you" (v. 21).

Yet again the battle between dark and light, which has been aconstant theme throughout the Gospel, is prominent. The people ofGod can't hide away when there's work to be done.

The disciples are now a sent people: apostles. They are nolonger locked away, but released with a new story to tell.

To Ponder

  • Can you think of something the Church needs releasing to do butfeels 'locked up' about? What is it?
  • Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on the disciples as the work ofmission begins after the Resurrection. How can we show resurrectionhope in our communities?
Previous Page Saturday 06 May 2017
Next Page Monday 24 April 2017