Our focus passage this week asks the question, “What does it mean to be sent by Jesus?” and “In what way had the Father sent him?” These questions refer to John 20:21, in which Jesus says:
Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.
We could spend a great deal of time pondering that one verse. In John, Jesus is constantly drawing attention to the fact that he is sent from God. He says that the Father has sent him, the Father has given him words to say, and he is doing his Father’s work. His being sent is a crucial element to his being here among us. And now we’ve been sent “as the Father has sent [Jesus].”
So as you finish John, and then as we’ll next read through Luke, look for what characterizes the way in which Jesus is sent. See how Jesus puts the Father’s will first and the way his goal is to speak what the Father has spoken to him. Look elsewhere in the New Testament like Philippians 2 and see that in being sent, Jesus humbled himself–even to the point of the cross. Jesus took on flesh, faced temptation, was mocked, was hungry, and of course, in his being sent, he was to go to the cross. His sending was for a mission of love in which he put the needs of others and the will of the Father first. Jesus died on this mission, and after he was raised, knowing full well all that being sent entails, speaks a word of peace to the disciples, and charges them to go into the world. If we head his words, how much do we need his peace to face the fears we will encounter, and how thankful are we that he has breathed upon us his Holy Spirit to strengthen us and comfort us along the way?