John 20: 19-23 NKJV
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Q. Who do you miss seeing the most during this time of social-distancing?
In this scriptural context, the disciples were hunkered down (i.e. self-quarantined) in a house because they were afraid of the Jews who had crucified Jesus. They were concerned about what might happen to them because of their association with Jesus (Who had been crucified). It’s utterly amazing that Jesus saw them, came to them, and physically appeared in the house where all the doors had been locked. His first words were, “Peace be with you.” As we practice social-distancing and are hunkered down in our homes, it’s comforting to know that God is with us.
Q. What would you imagine were the emotions of the disciples when Jesus first appeared?
Verse 19 says that Jesus stood in the midst of them. This is a consistent pattern of God’s manifestation among His people throughout the Bible. God seeks the middle ground when He manifests Himself in times of great hardship and difficulty. For example, it was not until the three Hebrew young men were in the fiery furnace that God appeared in the midst of them. Jesus was crucified in the middle of two thieves, thus giving each of them equal access to His mercy. Jesus came walking with the distressed Cleopas and the other disciples (perhaps his wife) on the road to Emmaus.
Q. When has God been closer to you than ever before in your life?
Typically when we are confronted with adverse conditions our prayer is for the elimination of the threat that is present. Certainly God has given His people miraculous deliverance before the threat impacted them, but there are times when God chooses to deliver us in the midst of the threat. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)says,
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Q. Why do you think that God sometimes gives us grace to endure rather than remove the threat?
- Pray that God will come into our midst and give us grace to endure the threat of COVID-19.
- Pray against the spirit behind the COVID-19, it has come to leave!
- Pray that God will give us a medical discovery to cure this virus.
- Pray for your first-responders and front line medical personnel who are saving lives.