Day 39: Jesus Appears To The Disciples

Read John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 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. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Why were the disciples so frightened that they were hiding in a room with the doors locked and in self-preservation mode? First, the chief priests and elders had paid off the Roman guards that were by the tomb to lie, asserting that the disciples stole Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11-15). If this were believed, the disciples would potentially be put to death. The city was in turmoil with all that had transpired over the three days from Jesus’ crucifixion until His resurrection: There were the angry mobs and mockers; the sky turning dark in the middle of the day during Jesus crucifixion (Luke 23:44-45); the veil of the temple torn in half at Jesus’ death (Luke 23:44-45); there was a violent earthquake shaking the entire area (Matthew 28:2). In addition, Jesus had appeared to a few people. I think anyone would be a bit frightened and unsure about what was coming next.

Now, we see in this passage, Jesus miraculously appears in the room where the disciples are hiding out. Notice the empathy Jesus has towards His fearful disciples. The first words out of his mouth are, “Peace be with you.” The Greek word for “peace” used here and predominantly in the New Testament is “irēnē” in Hebrew it is “shalōm.” As with shalōm, irēnē could be used as a greeting or farewell. Shalōm is one of the key words and images for salvation in the Bible. In the New Testament, shalōm is revealed as the reconciliation of all things to God through Jesus. “He (God) made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)” The shalōm experience is multidimensional, a complete well-being—physical, psychological, social, and spiritual; it flows from all of one’s relationships being put right—with God, with(in) oneself, and with others. It is a state of peace that is a blessing or favor from God. Jesus is bringing them this shalōm from their fears. Next, He shows His best friends, His tribe (disciples), the wounds on His hands and side. Can you picture Jesus’ tribe excitedly shifting from fear to peace and excitement as they see with their eyes and talk about the miracle of what God has done?

Again, Jesus says to his disciples, “peace.” This time it came with a commission for His disciples to be sent out for a specific purpose and mission. In Matthew 28:19-20, we see the commission specified, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This is referred to as the, “The Great Commission” which is a calling on all Christ-followers’ lives.

Lastly, Jesus breathes on them to receive the Holy Spirit. This is the only time in the New Testament where this Greek word, “ĕmphusaō” for breathe is used. It is the same word that is used when God is breathing life into Adam, formed from the dust (Genesis. 2:7).

Jesus offers you His shalōm (peace).


There are three main messages in this passage that Jesus is offering you just as He did His disciples: peace, purpose and power. Which one can you identify with most?

  1. Do you struggle with fear, resentment or rejection and thus to protect yourself you have locked the door of your heart? Jesus offers you His shalōm (peace). Ask God to check your heart and choose to make peace with Him in any area of your life where you don’t feel connected, are struggling with fear, resentment or have feelings of shame. He will bring you shalōm (Philippians 4:7).
  2. Are you confused about what to do with your life and feeling stuck or purposeless? Jesus offers you a specific purpose and mission. Ask Jesus to help you see your life mission. A great place to start is by helping in a ministry at Newbreak. What helps you feel alive? Is it people, working behind the scenes, helping kids, serving the community, teaching, hospitality? Whatever it is, God has a mission for you, but you have to take the step of faith to get involved. Ask your Campus Director or a ministry leader for help in finding your place and living out your life mission. You belong and there’s a spot waiting for you.
  3. Are you feeling timid, too tired, too old, or burned out and not living in the power of the Holy Spirit? Maybe you feel like you’ve already done enough or are in a place of life where you have raised your kids or retired, so you’ve gotten detached and isolated from regularly going to church, serving at church or being connected in a life group. Jesus offers you the power of His Holy Spirit to live in you, strengthen you and guide you in all things. Ask the Lord to breathe new life into you and to fill you afresh and anew with passion, power and energy that comes from His Holy Spirit. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8)