Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom


by John Sainsbury

21 February 2024

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On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:19, NIV

“Peace be with you”! These were apparently the first words that Jesus spoke to His disciples when He appeared to them after His resurrection. And there must have been something pretty important about this greeting, because we read that He repeated it a moment later (John 20:21).

When we hear this, I guess we can imagine that the disciples would feel anything but peace when the one whom they knew to be dead and buried suddenly appeared to them in physical form in the locked room where they were hiding, for fear of the Jews! But in actual fact, the word we read as ‘peace’ was the word ‘shalom’.

We don’t have a direct English translation for this word, which is why we read ‘peace’. Sadly, we lose something of the richness of what Jesus is saying through the restrictions of our translation. The word ‘shalom’ encompasses various elements including: fullness, wholeness, completion, safety, well-being, and rest, to name but a few. And this was the greeting that Jesus spoke over His disciples even as they were in hiding, fearing for their very lives.

But the reason that Jesus could now speak this blessing over them was because His reappearing, beyond the grave, was the evidence that His mission had been a complete success. In His death, and now His resurrection, Jesus was showing them that sin and death had indeed been defeated, and that the enemy no longer had the ace in his hands.

Now Jesus had been given all authority on earth and in heaven (Matthew 28:18), and He, in turn, was now sending His disciples with delegated authority (John 20:21) to proclaim this news, to make known His shalom.

You may not feel it. The first disciples certainly didn’t initially. But that same shalom that Jesus spoke to His first disciples is ultimately ours, as we are in Christ too. In Him we are granted the peace that is beyond our understanding, the shalom that no circumstance of life can ever spoil or destroy.

So may the shalom of Jesus be upon you this day. Whatever you face, however you feel: “Peace be with you”.

John Sainsbury and his wife Sue are part of the leadership team at Ellel Grange. John has served as a church leader for many years, most recently as Lead Pastor of the Garstang Free Methodist Church. He has a passion for seeing many brought into the fulness of life that following Christ brings.


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