John 20:19 “That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said.”
Jesus had been brutally murdered and the disciples thought they were next. It wasn’t safe for them to go out because the police were still looking for them. On top of that, the body of Jesus missing from the grave! It would be anytime before the Roman Soldiers came looking for these disciples to nail them to a cross just like Jesus.
The Disciples of Christ are hiding behind locked doors fearing that they will be the next victims in their militarized neighborhoods, it kind of sounds like us today. Many Christians are afraid to go outside the safety of their homes because of fear of the police, thugs, or religious people!
I understand the first two. We are fearful of police that operate like a military instead of those who protect and serve. I can understand a fear of those thugs that terrorize our neighborhoods by robbing, stealing, and killing. But why would we be afraid of religious people? Because religious people killed Jesus!
With so much violence in our community there is a lot to be afraid of. As believers we should not add to the fear of our community but we should be agents of change. Real disciples can’t afford to hide when Jesus is alive
- Jesus transcends their fortress. We cannot turn our churches into hiding places but rather healing centers. Wherever Disciples of Christ are there should be the presence of Christ.
- Jesus speaks to their fear. He says peace be unto you. There should be a transfer of peace when Disciples come together.
- There should be forgiveness that overrides our fear. The disciples couldn’t hide in that house forever. They had to go out and face the people who murdered Jesus as well as the people who said nothing to help him.
Not long ago one of my ministers was shot by a man who was angry simply because he tried to stop him from abusing his wife. My minister wrote him a letter forgiving the man and told him that he would pray for him. At first he was afraid to go back to work but God gave him peace and led him to pray for the man that shot him. That ain’t nobody but Jesus!
Don’t let fear keep you hostage when you are supposed to be free helping others. Sometimes God sends us out to face the ones we fear the most but not before the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do so.
Thank you for helping me to overcome my fear of violence in my community and empowering me to minister to those who have caused unrest. Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts and your perfect love that casts out all fear. Restore our peace and transform our communities.
In Jesus Name,