Summary: EASTER 2(A) - Jesus declares, "Peace be with you," because doubt destroys all peace BUT Jesus destroys all doubt.
PEACE BE WITH YOU!
John 20:19-31 - April 18, 2004
19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Dear Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
The Lord simply reassures His frightened disciples with those few words "Peace be with you." We are going to study what that means for us and Christians today everywhere--peace be with you. As we look at the depth of the meaning of that statement of Jesus, we discover that it is divine and powerful, that it is reassuring and comforting. When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in the Upper Room, He also reminded them that soon He would be betrayed, put to death and rise again. Earlier in this Gospel of John He reminds them of that, and He tells them about this peace He is going to give them.
In the 14th chapter of John those things take place, the washing of the disciples’ feet and Jesus’ words of encouragement. He says to His disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (JOHN 14:27). He told that to His disciples before all these things took place--when He stood before Pilate and when He was made fun of, when He hung upon a cross until He was dead. He said, "I give you my peace. Don’t be afraid. Don’t let your hearts be troubled." He wanted them to believe and not doubt. So it is this morning the Lord says to us as Jesus reminds us,
"PEACE BE WITH YOU"
I. that doubt destroys all peace
II. and Jesus destroys all doubt
I. Doubt destroys all peace
As we heard this text twice, we get the picture of the frightening position the disciples were in. They just did not know what was going to happen next. 19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. On that first day after the women had run to the tomb and found it empty, an angel said, "He is not here. He is risen." Then the disciples went and when they saw the empty tomb, they still had a hard time believing that Jesus was alive. They still had doubts. They still wondered, that if the people and church rulers did all those things to Jesus who was innocent and had done nothing wrong and put Him to death on the cross, what would happen to them? So the disciples gathered together and locked the door. They were filled with doubt. That doubt was almost completely destroying that Easter peace that the Lord provided with His resurrection.
When the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" That word of peace was going to start to destroy their doubt. They would hear Jesus’ words first, and then they would see Him. 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. That peace was beginning to work. Yet, there was still doubt, wasn’t there? There was doubt that would take time to overcome. Doubt for the Lord to repeat those words again, "Peace be with you!" This is said three times in today’s text.