Here John records for us two occasions on which the risen Jesus appears to his disciples. Running through the account is Jesus’ phrase, spoken three times over, “Peace be with you!”
The word peace sums up reconciliation with God, one another and those around us. This is what the resurrection has achieved: not only the possibility of peace, but the start of a new day, a new humanity, characterised by such peace. Rowan Williams describes the church as God’s “pilot project” for this new humanity, as the peace Jesus speaks to us is worked out in our lives. In this passage we see that there is both a flow to peace – from Jesus to his disciples, and through them to the world – and a purpose to peace – setting us free from our fear of the death of our self; sending us into the world; and enabling us to believe in Jesus as Lord and God. Note also that the flow is continuous: i.e. that those who believe in Jesus as Lord and God are now themselves disciples who are sent into the world...
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