In the Midst

“And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:26)

Jesus, in His earthly life, was often “in the midst” of things. At the age of 12 He was found in the temple, “sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). Then, early in His adult ministry, His hometown enemies at Nazareth attempted to kill Him, “but he passing through the midst of them went his way” (Luke 4:30). Later, in Jerusalem, a group of Pharisees sought to stone Him, but He simply went “through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:59).

Finally, however, they were able to put Him to death, and as a bitter testimony of their hatred, they had Him crucified with two common criminals, “on either side one, and Jesus in the midst” (John 19:18). Three days later, the tomb was emptied, and He would never again be in the midst of enemies. Instead, He met His disciples in the upper room.

There, “when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you” (John 20:19). Eight days later, with Thomas present, Jesus once again appeared in their midst and greeted them with reassuring words of peace.

Though now in heaven, His presence still speaks peace to us through His Holy Spirit, for He promised: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Even in the ages to come, He will be in our midst, for John says, describing that scene: “In the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,” and then all creation will sing “unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:6, 13). HMM

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