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John 20:21: Does Jesus give divine peace?

Some Muslims claim that only God is able to give peace and that Jesus Christ has all power from God. They refer to the following verse in the Gospel:

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father has sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

1. Jesus is God
“As my Father has sent me” means that in the Jewish tradition “One who is sent is as he who sends him”. In the person of Jesus Christ, in his words and deeds, the Father himself is present [1]. herefore it is time for the disciples to go forth into the world as representatives of Jesus Christ.

2. Jesus is the model for all believers
Jesus Christ came on earth to preach, to be persecuted, and to suffer for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus Christ is the model of the disciples and they will be successful only as they study his character and imitate his example [2].

3. Peace of Jesus gives divine joy
“Peace be unto you” is not an ordinary greeting, but assures as with the appearance of the “Angel of the Lord” that the people have nothing to fear from divine manifestation that they are witnessing [3]. The peace of Jesus Christ is described in detail in an early chapter: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Therefore the peace of Jesus Christ is extraordinary joy as experienced by divine interaction with people. The return of Jesus Christ to heaven is compensated by the promise of Jesus that in future the disciples of Jesus will “but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.” (John 16:22). In Jewish thought, peace and joy are attributes of eternal life with God [4].

4. Conclusion
Jesus gives divine peace because he introduces harmony by putting away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Therefore the disappearance of Jesus Christ after his resurrection is compensated for the believers by the promise of the return of Jesus Christ with joy and peace as in other actions of God with people.


Notes:

1. George R. Beasley-Murray, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 36, John, Word, Dallas, 379.
2. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, John 20:21
3. Raymond E. Brown, The Anchor Bible, The Gospel according to John (xiii-xxi), Doubleday, New York, 1970, 1035.
4. Ibid.

Qur'an 19:33: Is Jesus peace?