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John62 – “Peace to you”

So it being evening that day—the "one" of a sabbath—and the doors having been locked where the disciples were through fear of the Judeans, Jesus came and stood into the middle and states to them, “Peace to you.” And having said this, he showed them the hands and the side. (John 20: 19)
In his first-century eye-witness biography of Jesus, John is describing the events of that day in AD 30 when the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was actually seen. That day was earlier described by John (see John61) as “the first of the sabbaths”. In the AD 30 Judean calendar the day was definitely not a Sabbath day. John now repeats that – above – in connection with the evening of “that same day – the first of the sabbaths”. What does it mean?

In the Bible’s first book – Genesis – the very first sabbath is recorded like this: “The heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested (Hebrew ‘shabbat’) on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God (Hebrew ‘shabbat’) from all his work that he had done in creation.”

But the rest and peace of the whole of creation was wrecked by human beings and death and chaos began to reign on earth. That day in AD 30 “the first of the sabbaths” was the first day of death defeated and peace restored between heaven and earth. “Peace to you” was Jesus’ new message to his disciples.

So the disciples rejoiced, having seen the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. Just as the Father has sent me out, I also send you.” And having stated this, he breathed upon, and said to, them, “Lay hold of Holy Spirit. If you may leave the sins of some, they have been left to them. If you may arrest some, they are arrested.” 

A second time: “Peace to you”. And then the disciples are given a kind of employment contract. They are appointed to go out to others just as Jesus was sent out from heaven. They are given “holy spirit”, the breath of Jesus within, enlivening and changing them. That Jesus-given nature within will affect other sinners. The disciples are responsible to help others with sins.  

In fact Thomas, one of the twelve, stated “Didymus”, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were stating to him, “We saw the Lord!” In fact he said to them, “Unless I may see in his hands the mark of the nails, and may put my finger into the mark of the nails, and may put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” And, with eight days, his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus comes, the doors having been locked, and he stood into the middle and he said, “Peace to you.” Next he states to Thomas, “Bring your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put into my side. And do not become unbelieving, but believing!” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 

Dear Thomas. His nickname “Didymus” (“two-fold”) may imply uncertainty. He couldn’t believe the others saying to him “We saw the Lord”. After he found certainty in his unbelief, the Lord Jesus brought to him personally his identical message from above, “Peace to you”. The third time. Thomas believed the super message to all from above. He received holy spirit by which he started to live anew. He became absolutely certain about the true identity of Jesus.

Jesus states to him, “In that you have discerned me you have believed; blessed the ones not having seen and having believed.” 

The first of the above two statements of Jesus describes how Thomas has come to believe. He has “discerned” Jesus – he has “discerned” exactly who Jesus really is. “My Lord and my God!” 

The second statement confirms the blessedness of those who, like Thomas, “have believed” – who have “discerned” who Jesus really is – but who will have done so (and would do so in future) without “having seen” what Thomas saw – the physical, living resurrected man, Jesus.

So indeed Jesus also did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book. In fact these things have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and in order that, believing, you may have life in his name. 

John the biographer was one of the disciples to whom Jesus said (above) “Peace to you. Just as the Father has sent me out, I also appoint you.” John has written his biography in accordance with that – with Jesus’ appointment of him to go out and tell others of Jesus so that they too may have “life in his name”. That is, the Lord God’s eternal life within. 
Sinner Syvret

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