Peace to You!
By Apostle Aje Pelser
First preached 25th April 2012, today I preached it online 18th July 2021 amidst a pandemic, in Cape Town South Africa.
In John 20, Jesus appears to His disciples and we receive some effects that are produced by the peace He gives in our lives.
Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
Joh 20:19 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.”
Joh 20:20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Joh 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Joh 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Joh 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Joh 20:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Joh 20:26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”
Joh 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Joh 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
Joh 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Effects of his Peace:
1. His peace helps us recognize Him and settles our fears,
2. releases joy and gladness in His presence. John 20:19,20.
3. His peace prepares us to be sent,
4. and he couples His peace with His Spirit as He breathed on His disciples, so we have received the breath of the Holy Spirit, the empowerment to be witnesses. Think of the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
5. His peace helps us conquer unbelief, “Do not be unbelieving but believing.” And remember Thomas eventually said: “My Lord and My God” he became believing Thomas and eventually witnessed in India where he was a martyr for His Lord and His God.
6. Believing in Jesus the resurrected Christ, releases great blessings in our lives. We walk by faith and not by sight: “blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed.
It is interesting that the apostolic letters to the early Church retained that grace and peace in their greetings; there was substance behind the words and it was not merely some Christian traditional jargon without any punch and life changing force. When you say it mean it from the heart, “Grace and Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ!” Sharing His peace should release the same effects in other peoples’ lives:
Recognition of Christ within, peace, joy and gladness. It should impart the Holy Spirit and turn them into sent ones. It should convert unbelievers into believers willing to die for their faith, accessing the blessings of God and life in His name.
Respond to the Lord:
By faith we receive that peace Lord Jesus, we hear you saying to us right now, “peace be with you!” and we know that if you say it, it will be so: Amen!
We recognize your work and presence in our lives and our fears have disappeared. We rejoice in your presence O Lord!
We receive the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; God inbreathed, and accept the commission as sent ones to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth, making disciples of all nations. Your peace has removed my unbelief and made into a believer with a confident assurance of your guaranteed Word, sealed by the Holy Spirit. We say too like Thomas in repentance: “My Lord and My God!” and we receive your blessings and life in Your Name Jesus!