I looked up the readings for this Sunday, which is Pentecost Sunday, because I like the story of Jesus entering the locked room where the disciples are staying. I think it’s a great image of the awesomeness of Jesus to be able to bypass all obstacles that may be in the way.
This was the first time in all my years reading the Biblical story that I realized Jesus says, “Peace be with you” to the disciples twice. Curious, I looked up some different meanings of the word peace in the dictionary. Two descriptions jumped out on me. Although I am not a linguist or a theologian, I thought I would share what I found with you.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary peace can mean “a state of tranquility or quiet” and it can also be used as a “to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell.”
I thought both were fitting for the scenario in which Jesus uses the word peace. The disciples were probably scared because Jesus was no longer with them. So for Jesus to tell them to be tranquil makes sense to me. It also makes sense that he would tell them to be quiet. Can you imagine a bunch of fishermen in a room together? I’m sure the noise level was quite high. So when Jesus says peace, it could also mean that he wanted to greet them and also ask them to be quiet so he could then say what he has to about the Holy Spirit.
I will never know for sure what exactly Jesus meant when he said to his disciples “peace be with you,” but I do know that in my own life, I am going to try to be more aware of when Jesus wants me to be still and listen to him, calmly and with peace, and try to keep the door to my soul open for him to enter.