Peace Be With You! Jesus Reveals Himself to the Disciples


Praise be to you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In your great mercy you have given us new birth into a living hope
     through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! (1 Pet. 1:3)

I receive your Holy Spirit, the Resurrection-Spirit-of-life within me,
     and I attune myself to your work of awakening hearts, including my own,
     to experience your transforming love.

In Jesus’s name I come, amen.

John 20:19–22

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”


It’s been a big day for the disciples, to say the least.

Though they may not know it yet, it is the first day of the new creation—and it’s turning their whole world upside-right.

Mary has seen the Lord (John 20:18)! She is beside herself with joy. John and Peter have seen the empty tomb with the grave clothes neatly folded (John 20:5–7). Two disciples walking to Emmaus have had an encounter with the risen Jesus through a profound conversation and over broken bread at a meal. Then he “disappeared from their sight” (Luke 24:31)!

Yes, it has truly been a big day so far. And from what we read in John 20:19–22, it has not been a particularly easy one, either. At least not for the the disciples to whom Jesus has yet to appear. Waves of hope must have been crashing into waves of fear in their hearts all day long.

Imagine it. They find it difficult to disbelieve the trusted witnesses, but simultaneously fantastical to entertain the possibility, the sheer absurdity of the notion that Jesus is alive after his brutal crucifixion.

They have no grid for this, no theology that will bear it up. From what we can tell, hyper-vigilant and aware that murmurings of blame for grave-robbery must be stirring among the Jews and the Romans . . . they are afraid.

That’s what a locked door usually means.

Someone inside is afraid; they do not want to be easily reached.

We know it well. Fear is an immobilizer. We lock ourselves in rooms of the heart, we hide from phantoms that may or may not be of our own contrivance, and we emotionally distance ourselves from the possibility that what is actually true could be good news, rather than bad.

Worry can chain a heavy heart, and it takes a wild hammering of good news to break the links fear has forged.

A wild hammering—or the presence of Jesus.

“Perfect love,” the Word of God says, “casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). In other words, the perfect love of Jesus can break chains, immediately and irrevocably, that no one else can.

Into the locked room, the Lord of love, the Lord of hope, walks.

Eyes lift from the floor. Heads turn upward. Mouths drop open. Spines tingle. Hair on the arms stands on end.

Jesus is there, right there in the middle of their fear.

And he speaks.

“Peace, be with you.” John and Luke agree; these were his first words.

The word for peace here is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, shalom. In this moment, they must have recalled the same message Jesus spoke to them before his death earlier in John 14, when he said, “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).

There are fears that bind all of us, and on that first Easter day, fear had played its best hand with the ones Jesus loved, his precious friends (John 15:14–17).

But if you and I receive any truth into our souls this Easter season, let’s receive the same truth the disciples did when Jesus came among them that first Easter day.

Fear has no place where Love has entered the room. Fear has lost its power over the beloved of Jesus because of the resurrection.

You and I have been welcomed into a “living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3), in which the story of our lives begins and ends in the new creation of God. Loved by our Father in heaven, and given new life by the resurrection of Jesus, we are set free to live, to move, to have our being, as the people of the Prince of Peace in a world that is needing desperately to hear the words, “Peace, be with you.”


Risen Lord of the Living Hope, I am content no longer to live in fear, as if it is the guiding story of my life. I receive your Holy Spirit, and the power to live in the same faith of the early disciples who saw you face to face—and went on to change the world. Let your awakening begin in me, and faith displace fear from this moment forward. In Jesus’s name I come, amen.


Have you ever been in a time of great fear, when the presence of God met you with a peace that was beyond your own understanding (Phil. 4:7)? What happened, and how are you different because of it?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. I woke up this morning with this poem forming inside me. It’s about the key to peace.

    Let the risen Jesus
    Continually do
    Whatever He wants to
    Both in and through you.

    Be about
    Hanging out
    With people who
    Are all about
    Humbly interacting
    With Jesus.

  2. I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced the kind of fear that the disciples were experiencing on that resurrection Sunday. I do have both family members and brothers and sisters in Christ, who at this very moment are facing the challenges of knowing that they face a certain death through the diagnosis of terminal cancer. I attempt to share with them the peace of Christ through my presence, prayers, and words of encouragement. I still hold out hope that Jesus is still in the healing business because I know individuals who should not still be here, but are. And I pray daily for our brothers and sisters who live in places where the threat of torture, imprisonment, and death due to one’s confession of faith is still a reality.

  3. 2 Timothy 1:7
    For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    Fear is the spirit we inherited from the satan. Fear is the fuel of pride. Pride is the engine of our fleshly, sinful, selfish nature. Fear’s purpose is self-preservation. It builds a wall of self-defense and isolation. It uses bricks of shame, guilt, blame, resentment, bitterness, hate, anger, confusion…etc. Sometimes our bricks have names of ones who have hurt us or of the people we have hurt. Fear is the veil that keeps reconciliation at bay because reconciliation means we must be vulnerable, truthful, and forgiving.
    Fear’s greatest fear is Jesus because Jesus is liberating.
    Like Jericho, the wall of fear crumbles when you let Jesus in. Fear will do anything and everything to survive when Jesus arrives. Self doesn’t want to be crucified or die.
    That’s why unbelievers feel uncomfortable when the name of Jesus is mentioned. I used to feel that way. Why?
    Because the spirit of fear knows what Jesus can do.

    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

    Staying 💪’n Christ

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