When Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, the first words he spoke to them were, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). This phrase has become a common greeting among Christians and is often used in liturgical settings. But why did Jesus say this to his disciples, and what does it mean for us today?
The context of Jesus’ statement is important for understanding its significance. The disciples were gathered together in a room, afraid and confused after witnessing the crucifixion of their leader.
They had likely heard rumors of Jesus’ resurrection, but were not sure what to believe. Suddenly, Jesus appeared before them, standing in their midst.
Jesus’ first words to his disciples were “Peace be with you.” This was not just a casual greeting; it held deep significance for the disciples.
In Jewish culture, peace was more than just the absence of conflict; it was a state of wholeness and well-being that came from being in right relationship with God. By saying “Peace be with you,” Jesus was assuring his disciples that everything was going to be okay. He was also reminding them that he had come to bring peace between God and humanity.
The importance of this phrase lies in its ongoing significance for Christians today. Just as the disciples needed reassurance and comfort after witnessing the crucifixion, we too need peace in our lives.
We live in a world that is often chaotic and stressful. We face personal struggles and global crises that can leave us feeling anxious and afraid.
- Inner Peace: When we say “Peace be with you” to someone today, we are expressing our desire for them to experience inner peace – a sense of calmness and tranquility that comes from knowing God’s love.
- Peace Between People: Saying “Peace be with you” can also be a reminder that we are called to be peacemakers in our world. We are called to love our enemies, forgive those who hurt us, and work towards reconciliation in our relationships.
- Peace Between God and Humanity: Ultimately, Jesus’ words remind us that God desires peace between himself and humanity. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus made it possible for us to be reconciled to God and experience true peace.
The challenge for us as Christians is to live out the message of “Peace be with you” in our daily lives. This means being agents of peace in our families, workplaces, and communities.
It means forgiving those who have wronged us and seeking reconciliation when relationships are broken. It means working towards justice and equality for all people.
In conclusion, Jesus’ words of “Peace be with you” hold deep significance for Christians today. They remind us of God’s desire for peace between himself and humanity, as well as the importance of inner peace and peace between people. As we go about our daily lives, may we be agents of peace in a world that so desperately needs it.