Pastor W.J. Magee
Jesus and graceOn the evening of.. the first day of the week, the doors being shut 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 Grace... gospel (1:17).
Ultimately grace is Jesus himself, coming into a situation of human need to speak a word of love, coming in person to save people who are in need and distress. The disciples had disastrously failed in their discipleship. They had said they would stand by Jesus but as soon as the troops came to arrest him, they ran away, and Simon Peter had passionately denied that he knew the Master. Now they were scared, for the Jews had disposed of Jesus and would no doubt be after them now. So there they were, guilty and panicky, huddled behind locked doors for fear of the Jews.
I believe many people today are running scared with bad consciences. I know there’s a lot of talk about Christless people being happy and certainly many of them claim to be, but I don’t think their feelings necessarily match their words. Deep down, many of them feel that they are failures, missing out on what life’s all about and are afraid of the future. Christians who have slipped feel the same. The disciples represent a great section of the human race.
Jesus came through the locked doors, stood in the midst of his troubled people, and spoke to them of the peace, the program, and the power that he had come to give them (20:19-23). He still breaks through the barriers which we wittingly or unwittingly set up and presents himself to us in our frightened, guilty, helpless state as the loving friend who brings us new hope and new life. And that’s the essence of grace.
Lord, I would love to see you in person as the disciples did, but please help me to be content for now to know the blessing of “those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29).