Home' South Florida Times : SFT 042315 Contents 4B | APRIL 23 --- 29, 2015 | SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES | SFLTIMES.COM
Jesus' peace is not the same as
simply saying "shalom," the Greek
word for peace. But Christ said to
the disciples, "Peace be with you."
The Psalmist says, "How good
and pleasant it is when God's people
live together in unity! It is like precious oil
poured on the head, running down Aaron's
beard, down on the collar of his robe."(Psalm
We cannot say too much, nor do enough,
to persuade people to live together in
peace. Peace is good for honor and comfort.
It brings constant delight to those who live
David likened the pleasantness of
peace and unity to the holy anointing oil.
As a fruit of the spirit, peace is proof of our
union with Christ. Peace, as Psalm 133:1
puts it, adorns Christ's gospel. Minister and
biblical commentator Matthew Henry says,
"Peace is profitable, as well as pleasing; it
brings blessings as numerous as the drops
In John 20: 19-23 we read, "Later on
that first day of the week, the disciples had
gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews,
they had locked all the doors in the house.
Jesus entered, stood among them, and said,
'Peace be with you.' " Then He showed them
His hands and side.
The disciples, seeing the Master with
their own eyes, were exuberant. "Jesus
repeated His greeting: 'Peace Be with you'.
Just as the Father sent me, I send you. Then
He took a deep breath and breathed onto
them. 'Receive the Holy Spirit,' He said. 'If
you forgive someone's sins, they're gone
for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are
you going to do with them?' "
Christ appeared on Resurrection Day,
which scripture says, "being the first day of
the week"(John 20:19 KJV) and it was in the
evening. This brought special honor to the
day we now call Sunday.
It wasn't that the disciples intended to
put honor on that day, for they were still in
doubt about everything. But God, it seems
designed to place honor on Sunday.
The disciples probably met in the
Upper Room to hide out, but perhaps it
was also for some religious exercises like
prayer. This meeting was private, because
they dared not appear publicly, especially
as the followers of Christ.
Perhaps they simply met to know each
other's thinking, or to strengthen each
other's hands, but regardless of why they
had come together, there was no peace in
that room that day!
Eight days later, His disciples were
again in the Upper Room. This time Thomas
was with them. Jesus again came through
the locked doors, stood among them, and
again said, "Peace be with you."(John 20:26
Christ knew about Thomas' doubt, and
yet He was pleased to show himself to
Thomas, too, rather than just leave Thomas
wallowing in his unbelief.
We, too, are to follow Christ's example
--- to bear with the weak-in-faith and the
doubting novice. This is a warning given
to all; if we are faithless, we are Christ-less
and graceless; therefore, hopeless and
joyless, and there is no peace in this.
There is a special point to be noted here:
the marks on Christ's body yet
remained, though He
was now without
pain. This was to demonstrate that Jesus
arose. He had not only overcome death, in
three days, He had also overcome the pain
and the suffering.
It is comforting to Christ's disciples,
whenever we assemble (Saturday or
Sunday), to know that no doors can shut out
Christ speaking of this peace makes
peace, He creates the fruit of the spirit we
now call peace. His speaking peace makes
peace with God. He has created peace
in our conscience. He helps us maintain
peace with one another. Through Him, all
this peace is within us; and it is not the same
as peace in the world, for it is the real peace
--- the kind of peace only found in Christ.
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor
of the Church of the Open Door UCC in
Miami's Liberty City community. He may
be reached at 305-759-0373 or pastor@
R. JOAQUIN WILLIS Peace Be With You
"Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father
has sent me, I am sending you."~ (John 20:21 NIV)
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