“When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19 CSB
The verse above comes after Jesus has been resurrected. Mary Magdalene has gone to the tomb, found it empty and seen Jesus. Always worth noting the first person Jesus appeared to was a woman, notable because women were not thought of highly, if at all in this culture. Jesus gave women value in His ministry. Mary seeing Jesus at the tomb is significant to women. Mary does what Jesus tells her to do and tells the disciples. The Jews are still on a rampage. The disciples are hiding from them, locked in a room when Jesus appears to them and offers Peace. The disciples are in the midst of a huge spiritual struggle. Jesus is dead. What are they supposed to do now? This isn’t how things were supposed to go. They haven’t yet realized the significance of Jesus’s resurrection. Until this moment, when Jesus appears to them and said, “Peace be with you.”
In the midst of crisis, Jesus appears, with Him, He brings peace. He brought peace for the disciples in the midst of their greatest fear, losing Jesus. He’ll bring peace to you in the midst of yours. An old Cherokee legend tells the tale of a grandfather teaching his grandson a lesson. He tells him about 2 wolves everyone has inside of them. One wolf is filled with fear, anger and anxiety. The second wolf is filled with peace, love and joy. The grandfather explained to his grandson, these two wolves are always fighting with each other, trying to gain control. His grandson, wide eyed, asked his grandfather, “Which one wins?” His grandfather answered, “Whichever one you feed.” The disciples in the locked room were feeding their fear, anger and anxiety. When Jesus entered the room, He brought peace, love and joy. He wins, hands down, He always does.
If we want to experience the peace Jesus has to offer, we have to decide which wolf we are going to feed inside of us. Are we going to feed our fears by focusing on the nightly news, reading the daily newspaper or scanning social media? Or are we going to feed the wolf of peace by filling ourselves up with Jesus? We have the choice, we can choose which wolf we are going to feed. Instead of watching the nightly news, listen to an uplifting podcast. Read the Bible instead of the paper. When I was working for Nautica, spending hours in the car each day, I used to listen to James Patterson books. I always love a good mystery. But his books tend to be violent, I realized they were having a negative effect on me. I had to stop listening to them because I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about them. Ask my husband, years later, I still have nightmares on occasion. I was feeding the wrong wolf when I was listening to those books. I have never had one nightmare from the thousands of sermon podcasts I listened to during those years, only peace. I had to choose which wolf I wanted to feed, and so do you. Which one will you feed today, the choice is yours.