"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'" And with that He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" John 20:21-22
Jesus had been arrested, beaten, and crucified on the cross. Mary Magdalene had gone to the tomb where Jesus' body was taken, but He was not there. Jesus had risen from the grave. Mary was confused, thinking someone had taken His body. However, Jesus spoke to her. She immediately went to tell the disciples the good news about Jesus' resurrection. And where do we find the disciples? John 20:19 tells us they were locked up in a house because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. They were living in fear of man.
Jesus walked into the house, even though the doors were locked, and He said to them, "Peace be with you!" Then He showed them His hand and His side, and John 20:20 says, "The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord." But Jesus didn't just come to them in their locked house and in their fearful living to make them happy. He came to them with a purpose and a plan. In John 20:21, Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Jesus told the disciples that they would now be His hands and feet to the world. The disciples would be His witnesses to a world of people who needed to know Him. But Jesus didn't just give them words of encouragement and command that day. No, Jesus gave them something else, something more powerful than words or commands. Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit! John 20"22 says, "And with that He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" The disciples had an important mission, and Jesus gave them everything they needed to fulfill that mission. He replaced their fear of man with a fear of the Lord. He replaced their fear of man with the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that is why John said in 1 John 4:4, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Today, embrace Jesus' words to the disciples and to us in John 20:21-22. Today, embrace and claim the Scripture in 1 John 4:4. You are the hand and the feet of Jesus today to a world of people who desperately need Him. And you are not alone; the Holy Spirit of God lives within you. Believe it! Live it!