When Jesus first appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He greeted them with a surprising phrase: “Peace be with you.” This phrase is repeated several times throughout the New Testament, but what does it really mean and why did Jesus say it? Let’s take a closer look.
The Importance of Peace in the Bible
Peace is a central theme in the Bible. In fact, the word “peace” appears over 400 times in the Old and New Testaments combined. It is often used to describe a state of inner calm or tranquility, as well as outward harmony between individuals and nations.
One of the most famous passages on peace comes from Jesus Himself in John 14:27: “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.” Here, Jesus promises His disciples that He will leave them with His own peace that surpasses all understanding.
The Context of Jesus’ Greeting
Now let’s turn our attention back to when Jesus first appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. The context of this greeting is important because it sheds light on its significance.
The disciples had just witnessed their beloved teacher being brutally crucified and buried in a tomb. They were likely feeling confused, frightened, and grief-stricken. They may have even been worried about their own safety since they were associated with Jesus.
Then suddenly, Jesus appears before them alive and well! It’s no wonder that they were shocked and overcome with emotion.
Jesus’ greeting of “Peace be with you” was therefore not just a polite hello. It was a powerful message of comfort and reassurance to His followers who were likely experiencing a range of intense emotions.
The Significance of Peace
So what does this message of peace mean for us today? Here are a few key takeaways:
- Peace is a gift from God. Just as Jesus promised His disciples His own peace, we too can receive this gift from God through faith. When we trust in Him and surrender our worries and fears, we can experience the same peace that surpasses all understanding.
- Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read that one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace.
This means that when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, He will produce in us a sense of inner calm and tranquility that cannot be found anywhere else.
- Peace is a powerful witness to others. When we exhibit peace in the midst of difficult circumstances, it can be a powerful witness to those around us who may be struggling. It shows that our faith is real and that we truly trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty.
The Bottom Line
When Jesus greeted His disciples with “Peace be with you,” He was not just saying hello. He was offering them a powerful message of comfort and reassurance in the midst of their confusion and grief.
Today, we too can receive this message of peace from God through faith. By trusting in Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we can experience a sense of inner calm and tranquility that surpasses all understanding. And when we exhibit this peace to others, it can be a powerful witness to God’s love and faithfulness.