Saving Grace

Boldly proclaim the gospel

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.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” – John 20:19-23

“As the prince of peace, Jesus brought about the peace that now exists between God and man. And now he offers that peace to us. He says to each of us, “Shalom.” These are not the words of mortal man. They are words of power, which grant the peace of which they speak. Peace is ours. The life, the death and the words of Jesus make it so.

When we think of peace, we think of the absence of hostility. The peace Jesus brings is not necessarily the absence of hostility. The peace that Jesus brings when the evening clouds of fear hangs over our heads is the power, the strength, to live amid hostility.

In the above text, we are told that, in fear, the disciples locked themselves away from the authorities. This was the evening of the resurrection.

Like the disciples, when trouble comes our way, we tend to think that we are all alone and that there is no one to rescue us. We just see a highway full of boulders and obstacles.

However, in such times, we don’t need to despair. We have a savior who is Christ the Lord.

He is the first born from the dead. He is with us and will always be with us.

As Christians, it does not matter how much trouble we see in this life, we still have the gift of peace. This peace was given when he appeared to the frightened disciples locked away from the authorities on that special evening of the resurrection.

The disciples were terrified. But when the evening of fear began to stalk them, Jesus stepped right through the locked door of despair, disappointment and disillusionment and said, “Shalom” – peace – “peace be with you”.

When trouble comes our way, we often find ourselves in the same predicament as the disciples. In fear of the outcome, we hide behind the locked doors or our disappointment, disillusionment, fears, and despair.

During such experiences, we tend to believe that we are all alone. However, that peace which he gave to the disciples that evening, he gives to us. It is a peace that surpasses all human understanding. That is a peace that the governments of the world cannot give.

Not only does he give us peace, but he also gives us courage and tenacity to proclaim the good news of the gospel. That’s what he did for those initially frightened disciples.

Even though hostility was still with the disciples, through their special gift from God, they looked beyond the hostility. Not even the prison bars could hold back their message. They boldly proclaim the gospel without any fear of the religious authorities.

Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Inherent in the commission is the power.

As he sent the disciples, he sends us, you, and me, to share this peace with the people of the world. Don’t be afraid to share it. Don’t be ashamed to tell of the good things that Jesus did in your life. Remember, this peace which surpasses all understanding is for all people. Amen.

• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail:; website:

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