Peace be with you! I think everyone wants to hear this statement. The desire for peace comes up again and again when I talk with people about what they are really looking for. I too keep looking for peace in my day.
Peace Be With You
This phrase “Peace be with you” comes from a story in the Gospel of John. It takes place just after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Imagine a room filled with the twelve disciples and some others. They are scared and confused. Their teacher Jesus has been killed horribly. Some carry the guilt of having run away from him. They had been sure God was going to do something through Jesus, but now even that hope was in tatters. They have locked the doors because they are afraid that they too are about to be arrested. There is weeping and prayers of anguish.
Suddenly, Jesus stands in the midst of them and says Peace be with you. When the disciples get over their shock, they are overjoyed. They can’t contain it. What a transformation in the room! Jesus doesn’t just speak peace to them, but he is that peace, himself, in his person. And then he sends them out into the world, saying, “Just as the Father sent me, so I send you.” He charges them with bringing that same peace to the world.
The Impact of the Gospel Comes through the Person of Jesus
The peace of Jesus is different. It is a deep and transformative peace that made the disciples able to do things that they would never have imagined possible. This is a powerful peace (“Shalom”) of wholeness and harmony.
Do you want this peace? I ask this question because God’s peace impacts and changes us inside. But this peace of Christ is also part of something bigger than us: God’s plan to bring healing and wholeness to the world. This is what the Scriptures call the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Another term for this is the Gospel.
The Gospel Transforms
“Gospel” is one of these words that we hear so often that it can lose its force. But the point of the Gospel is that it has profound spiritual power. It has the power to fill your soul and connect you with God.
The Gospel is God speaking to us in a new language: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Jesus, we see God’s love embodied. The Gospel is a message that captivates, calls, challenges, delights, and transforms us.
For the disciple of Christ, the Gospel can’t just be words on a page. It has to be a message that ripples through our lives and changes our hearts. You need to know that you are loved by God more than you can possibly imagine. Does the Gospel impact your life?
This is based on a talk from our 2021 Lenten learning series, Re-boot Your Spiritual Life. You can watch it here: