“Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to 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 to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you” (John 20:19-21, The Message).
The phrase Shalom aleichem is a common Jewish phrase. It’s used both as a hello and a goodbye. I’m sure that when a typical Jewish person had grown up in Jesus’ day, he or she had probably heard and used the term so often that it became almost rote.
Not so with Jesus. He never said or did anything that wasn’t drenched with meaning and purpose. Especially here with the disciples who had barricaded themselves in the upper room out of fear and confusion.
“Peace to you,” or “God’s peace,” was Jesus telling the disciples, “You have many fears and doubts. I am giving you My peace, not as the world gives, a peace that transcends human understanding that brings healing and wholeness. This is the peace that will empower you to live sent as God’s ambassadors in the world and announce the forgiveness of sin found in God’s salvation.”
Only God’s peace can alleviate anxiety. Only God’s perfect love can cast out fear. Only in the shalom and hesed of God can you truly live out your calling and be a disciple maker.
May God’s peace be yours tonight, tomorrow, and every day after.