I wonder how long it took the disciples to realize that Jesus really wasn’t going to overthrow the Romans or establish an earthly rule. After his death, though the loss was mostly of the man they had come to love, I imagine it also encompassed dreams they hardly admitted even to themselves. Dreams of what their lives would look like with Jesus. Background expectations of the work they would do. Vague images of how the present would become the future.

Then Jesus comes back; hope is restored! But for what?

Certainly, the in-between days gave time to understand and come to grips with what had happened. But perhaps also, it allowed them to grasp in a new way what was being asked of them; what “leave your nets and follow me” really meant. It gave space for a deeper conversion; a “yes” that left no room to turn back. I doubt they had any idea these were necessary, strategic moments of transformation. They didn’t know they were being readied to house in their very bodies the presence of God. They couldn’t know their experiences with Jesus would be the source of forming, leading, and influencing Christ’s followers for years to come. They didn’t have a clue that in their “yes” they would become men so devoted to Jesus, so humbled by his great love that no sacrifice would be too great to offer.

No wonder Jesus spoke peace to them.

They knew what Shalom meant. They had heard it in the books of Moses, particularly when the laws were given. Over and over came the meaning of “restore,” “make whole,” and “well-being” in the context of how life would now be lived out from slavery. It would be made whole. Goodness would be restored. Completeness would reign.

Can you imagine how this message might have resonated with them when everything they knew was changing?

I wonder how it resonates with you?

In the middle of our chaos, our distress, our confusion, Jesus says, “I’m giving you my peace.”  Earlier he had told the disciples, “My peace isn’t like the kind you talk about. It’s not linked to vanquished trouble. Instead, it comes in the middle of the hard, at the core of the distress and says, ‘I have already done the work to make everything come right in the end. And because I will never leave you alone, you will always have me to turn to. The Spirit I’m sending will complete whatever is lacking within you, so that you never have to wonder if you will be enough. Go forward with those promises held close to your heart. Rely on them when you are tempted to be undone by what you see happening before you. Remember, I AM the Way, walk in me and you will live well, whole, complete. Take my peace, let it still you, quiet you, knowing I am your God.’”

I can’t imagine the disciples understood those layers when Jesus said, “Peace be to you.” But in the unfolding future, they came to know it.

How are you coming to know God’s peace in you today?


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In Between
Be Still My Soul