by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” – Luke 24:36 NIV
It was the Sunday evening of the day of the resurrection. Understandably enough, the disciples of Jesus were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. (John 20:19) Understandably enough, they were afraid that the leaders might do the same thing to them that they did to Jesus. The two disciples that had been walking on the road to Emmaus had just told the rest of the disciples about their encounter with Jesus. (Luke 24:33-35) At that precise moment, Jesus Himself stood among them and said the words in our verse for today: “Peace be with you.”
Like the disciples hiding out behind locked doors, you are a disciple of Jesus. Like them, you have made the decision to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) In effect, you have stuck your neck out a long way. After all, not everyone is happy about your decision. In point of fact, some people are downright angry about it. They think you’re a religious fanatic. As far as they’re concerned, your exclusive claims about Jesus being “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6) are wild exaggerations and intolerant in the extreme. As a result, they think you’re a danger to the rest of society.
Like the disciples, you’re afraid of what the angry people might do. Maybe it hasn’t gotten to the point yet where you feel the need to meet behind locked doors with fellow disciples, but you’re concerned just the same. You’re worried about what you should do next. You’re anxious about the potential consequences of what you do next. You’re going over the scenarios in your mind, one after the other. At one point, you even considered just backing away from the calling the Lord placed on your heart.
It’s when it gets like this that Jesus shows up. Maybe He doesn’t appear bodily, as He did for the early disciples, but He’s there every bit as much. And He’s saying the same thing to you that He said to them: “Peace be with you.”
He’s saying, “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.” (John 14:27)