“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ . . . Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations. . . . You are witnesses of these things’ ” (Luke 24:36,45-48).
There’s a knock at the door. You answer it to a familiar face on the other side. The person says, “I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d stop by and say hello. Do you mind if I come in?” Or, “I haven’t seen you in a while. I was wondering if everything is okay. Do you mind if I come in?” Or, “I heard what happened at work last week. I should have come over sooner. Do you mind if I come in?”
A visit from Jesus
Pop-in visits may at first be a surprise, but as soon as that question is asked—”Do you mind if I come in?”—both people standing at the door know that this visit really isn’t a surprise. It’s necessary. It may even be long overdue.
Jesus popped in on his disciples—behind locked doors of all things. If anyone ever needed a friend to just stop by and ask, “Do you mind if I come in?” it was his disciples, who had locked themselves in that room for fear of the Jews.
Stop in. Say hello. Assure those who are lonely or afraid or burdened with guilt that Jesus lived and died and rose again—for them.
Enter Jesus, literally. He popped in for a visit. To calm their fears. To answer their questions. To erase their doubts. To strengthen their faith. To assure them of their forgiveness. In short, he popped in to give them peace—the peace that only he can give, the peace of a sinner’s restored relationship with a holy God through his own suffering, death, and resurrection.
But as important as that was, Jesus wasn’t there just to give them peace. He was also preparing them to share that peace with others. He did that by giving them the key to understanding the Old Testament Scriptures—and it was standing right in front of them! The Son of Man had to suffer. He had to die. He had to rise again. That had been God’s plan all along. Read the promise made to Adam and Eve in light of Jesus. Read the promise made to Abraham in light of Jesus. Consider the Sabbath Day, the Passover lamb, all those animal sacrifices in light of Jesus. Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures—the Scriptures about him—so that they in turn would share with others.
An assurance of peace
Perhaps someone in your life needs a knock on the door and the question “Do you mind if I come in?” Maybe it’s someone you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s someone who is hurting or sad or confused or full of doubt. Stop in. Say hello. Assure those who are lonely or afraid or burdened with guilt that Jesus lived and died and rose again—for them. Assure them of the peace that they have with God in spite of their sin. Assure them that God has forgiven them in Jesus.
Pop in for a visit. Engage them with a simple “Do you mind if I come in?” Then embrace them with the peace that only Jesus can give.
Author: Stephen Helwig
Volume 109, Number 05
Issue: May 2022