On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” – John 20:19-23
Can you imagine how intense the emotion must have been when Jesus appeared to His disciples in today’s passage? After days of hiding, afraid for their lives and mourning the loss of their Master, the followers of Christ were stunned to see Him standing before them in a locked room. I bet the room was filled with utter silence.
If the shock of His appearance wasn’t enough, think about the statement He made: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). The weight of that comment must have seemed overwhelming. After years of hearing Jesus talk about His divine purpose, the disciples were given a similar commission. Just as the Father had sent Jesus, so now Jesus was sending them into the world to spread the gospel, heal the sick, serve the needy, and glorify the Father.
I often read that passage and think, I’m sure glad I wasn’t there to receive those “marching orders.” But guess what—those marching orders were intended for you and me. That room didn’t house just the 11 remaining apostles. Luke 24:33 reveals that other followers were “with them.” So in John 20:21, when Jesus said, “I also send you,” He was talking to the whole body of believers. He was giving instructions to His Church. Two thousand years later, this commission still applies to you and me.
We want to guard ourselves from becoming too comfortable with our own surroundings and our own spiritual habits so as not to forget there is a lost and dying world out there filled with sin and desperately in need of the life giving message of Christ. And we have been entrusted with the task of distributing that message as we live the remainder of our earthly lives here on this earth.
Jesus’ command to make disciples “of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19) is too great a task for a handful of individuals. It’s a call for every believer, in every country, in every generation to accept the mission with a fresh sense of willingness and eagerness. Christ is sending you somewhere for a purpose, whether in your backyard to your neighbor or halfway around the globe. Whether with a distant family member or with your own children or spouse. Whether with the check out clerk at the grocery store or with a co-worker at your place of employment. The question is not whether God is sending you, the question we must be ready to answer is simply this, Are we ready to go?