i'm not sure i want to call these "locked in fear" any longer. Jesus did something about that. i don't assume to believe that it's God's will for us to be locked behind the doors of fear. however, scripture paints a very clear picture in John 20.19 that the behavior of the Jesus' followers was just that. if you read part 1 of this post you notice that Jesus did not call them from the place of fear before he encountered them. instead he invaded the place where they thought they were safe. i know, as maybe you, that we can be locked up. i want Jesus to invade my private place. how about you? once in that place i love what happens next, "Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace is such a rich and powerful word in the Greek language. According to www.blueletterbible.com this is the definition of "peace":
a. probably from a primary verb eiro (to join)
1) a state of national tranquility
a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah's peace
a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
This word is used 92 times in the NT. It has strong definitions. Jesus demonstrates determined love and goes beyond the natural to release the supernatural.
I believe it's like God to show himself as strong and mighty in our place of fear and he releases to us the peace of heaven. I believe this is such a strong key as to how a group of men who abandoned Christ in his darkest hour become world changers in less than 50 days. Do you see the irony? In Christ darkest hour (the garden of gethsemane/the trial/the crucifixion) his friends leave him. Abandonment. In the darkest of hour of the disciples he invites himself to their "gathering of the fearful ones." Jesus goes behind the closed doors and releases what he has, PEACE. the disciples abandon and release what they have.....oh wait, they didn't have anything. they are bound up.
i am interested in the power of this peace. i don't mean to be redundant, but do you see it? rejects of society, failures as friends, thick headed in their learning, hiding behind closed doors of fear and worry and yet Jesus shows up and releases his peace upon them. It's a peace that instantly changed everything. How do we know? Read Acts. they changed the world.
so my contention is to encounter God in my private place and hear him say to me, "Lance, Peace be with you." in my fear I need peace. i refuse to make alliances with fear, but ask the light to invade my darkness and let God's peace change me.
Jesus help me live in your peace. may your peace empower to invade a place that makes me nervous or afraid. Amen.
Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for eirēnē (Strong's 1515)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2008. 14 May 2008.