The Mission and Equipment of the Disciples
Luke 24:36-49
And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you.…

I. THE SALUTATION — "Peace be unto you." These words were, no doubt, meant to allay the fears which were then agitating the disciples' minds. In themselves they were fitted to bare this effect, as showing the spirit and purpose with which He had come among them. But they were also, and still more, fitted to have this effect, because of what they brought to their remembrance. They were, in fact, like His wounds, signs by which they might identify the risen Lord. The twofold utterance of this salutation is not with. out significance. As Luke tells us, "The disciples had beheld, touched, and gladly received their rebuke; but there is again a wondering among them before the final clear and tranquil assurance fills their hearts. As before through fear, so now through astonished joy, they cannot altogether and fully believe." Their joy, though it has actual faith in it, "does not reach to peace and joy combined in their fulness." It has "in its first vehemence and disquietude too little peace." It is a "violent joy, in which, notwithstanding its semblance of overpowering feeling, a deep and firm faith can scarcely fix its roots. Therefore the wise and patient Master gradually brings them to the peace of faith." But we unduly limit the significance and scope of these words, if we view them only as designed to remove the fears of the disciples. Rather are we to regard them as the salutation which His resurrection brings to those for whom He died — the message borne by His wounds to all who look to Him for salvation. This resurrection as plainly as His advent proclaims, "peace on earth and goodwill to men."

II. THE SENDING — "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." This was fitly preceded by the salutation, inasmuch as the man who is to be the herald of peace to others needs to enjoy peace himself. How great the honour which He puts upon His servants in thus comparing their mission with His own! And we offer the following remarks, not as exhaustive, but only as possible helps to the interpretation:

1. That they are, in some measure, to represent Him before men even as He represented the Father, giving men, both by their life and their teaching, a representation of His character, so as to enable them to form a conception of what He was. Such was unquestionably their calling. They were to be living epistles of Christ. He was to live in them.

2. That they receive authority from Him in some measure, as He received authority from His Father. They speak in His name, as He spoke in His Father's name. They do His works, as He did the works of His Father.

3. That they are to be His messengers to mankind, as He was the Father's messenger, taking up and publishing among the nations the gospel which He first proclaimed.

4. That they are to prosecute their work in the same spirit as He did — a spirit of self-denial and benevolence, seeking not their own gratification, but the glory of God and the salvation of men.

5. That they must seek to do their work by the same instrumentality — not with carnal weapons, but by the spiritual forces which are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds — not depending on human might or power, but on the Spirit of the Lord of hosts.

6. That they are to be in the world as He was — in it, though not of it — seeking no portion in it, nor making it their rest — desirous of remaining in it only while they have work to do — glad to leave it when their work is done. Such are some of the things which may be implied in their being sent by Him as He was sent by the Father.

III. THE ENDOWMENT — "He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

IV. THE MOMENTOUS WORK TO BE DONE — "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

(W. Landels.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

WEB: As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace be to you."

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