Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
The first words Jesus spoke to his frightened disciples after his resurrection were words of reassurance: “Peace be with you!” Then he quickly gave them a renewed sense of purpose: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
With those words, Jesus was passing his mission on to his followers. Perhaps you’ve seen a relay race in which one runner comes up behind the next and passes off the baton. That’s what Jesus was doing here. He was passing off the baton to his followers and saying, “Go! Finish the race! Carry on the mission I began! I ran the first leg; now you run the next. Just as God the Father sent me into the world, now I am sending you into the world! Go!” (See John 17:18.)
Later, Jesus would remind his disciples again of that mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Jesus had been sent by his Father into the world “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). As his followers today, we also have that mission and purpose. Jesus has passed us the baton. Lost people matter to God, and they matter to us.
God in heaven, remind us often that Jesus has sent us into the world, just as you sent him into the world. May our lives and words be a light that shows others the way. Amen.
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