Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
It is the same day that Jesus has risen from the tomb, yet the disciples are locked away “for fear of the Jews.” Suddenly Jesus stands before them and gives them both His commission and the Holy Spirit.
Though scriptures tell us, “the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord,” we must also wonder at the myriad of emotions they would have felt. Most of them had fled when Jesus was arrested, and even after Mary Magdalene’s announcement they resisted belief. Jesus knows this, does not rebuke them, but says “Peace be with you.” Still, in the same breath he tells them it is time to get to work.
When we flee from the Lord, Jesus comes to us with the same gentleness. He understands all our anxieties, but nothing is too big for Him to overcome. In fact, He overcame death itself. In the face of the disciples' fear, he shows His hands and side, proof that He can do the impossible.
Considering all the disciples have done (or not done) since Jesus’ arrest, cutting ties and withholding trust would have been a perfectly human response. But as the Son of God, Jesus continues to put his faith in the disciples, despite their flaws. In this way, He demonstrates unconditional forgiveness and shows them the way back to a right relationship with Him.
Immediately, He calls them to act. Jesus says, “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” As Jesus lowered himself to become a baby, dependent on others for security, so we are called to humility. As Jesus became a servant to the Father and others, so we are called to serve. As Jesus was tempted in the desert, so we are tempted. As Jesus made the Holy Trinity known to us, so we are called to share God’s identity. As Jesus suffered and died for us, so we are called to sacrifice. As Jesus forgave His disciples for turning away, so we are called to forgive without restraint.
There are times when living out our mission brings fear and doubt, but all we need to do is entrust ourselves to Him and act according to His will. Because nothing is impossible for God.