Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ John 20:21-22
In addition to peace, Jesus gives us three important things here: identity, direction, and power.
As for identity, Jesus’ words take on much greater significance when we realize the importance he attached to being sent. Being “him whom the Father … sent into the world” (John 10:36) is an important identity marker for Jesus. There are over forty references throughout John to Jesus being sent by the Father, most of which come straight from Jesus himself. And he longs “that the world may believe” that the Father has sent him (John 17:21). So, for Jesus, being sent is not a burden but a joy, and as his followers, we shared his identity as sent ones.
As for direction, we are sent into the world, just as Jesus was sent into the world (John 17:18). It’s imperative to grasp that we are not to hide from the world; instead, we are “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14). Allowing our “light shine before others” will lead people to “glorify [our] Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). Just as Jesus moved toward the darkness, bringing light, hope, and healing, so likewise, we are to move in the same direction. However, we’re not sent alone; we’re part of a family. The love we display to our brothers and sisters is to define us (John 13:35) and attract the world to our Master.
Lastly, we are given power (John 20:22) to live out this new identity in this new direction. It would have been irresponsible of Jesus to send us into the world without his power within us. And we would have been doomed to failure. But he has given us his Spirit.
In response, pray, for yourself and for your TICF family, that we would walk according to our identity, direction, and power.