When it was evening on that day… and the doors of the house were locked for fear of the Jews. John 20:19
A week later his disciples were in the same house…. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came. John 20:26
St. John intimates that Jesus simply appears in the locked room after Christ’s resurrection not just the first time he appears to his disciples, but the second as well. When I read this passage I was puzzled at first. Why were the disciples still huddled in a locked room after their first encounter with Jesus? The first time Jesus visits them he tells them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” and then he breathed the Holy Spirit on them.
St. John doesn’t record whether Jesus was put out with the disciples for staying hidden. Maybe he understood that Stephen’s doubts had instilled doubt and fear in all of them. The third time Jesus appears to his disciples they are now by the Sea of Tiberius fishing, and once again he conveys the message, “Feed my sheep.” He tells his disciples not to hide in a locked room or return to their prior lives as fishermen. They have been chosen to forgive people’s sins and feed his children.
This is a wonderful story that rings true today because we all have doors that we know we should open, we have rooms to leave, and duties to perform even though we are afraid. Change is scary and it requires courage, a courage God will give you as soon as you unlock the door.
I certainly have had days, and will probably have again, where I want to lock the door, pull down the shades, and hide under the covers, but there is a funny thing about God’s call to each of us — locked doors don’t work. Like Jesus, he will appear no matter how much we try to hide. He will appear, fill us with the Holy Spirit, and tell us to “feed his sheep,” not just once, but twice, and even a third time if necessary. There is no hiding, no matter how scary.
This morning ask yourself what door do I need to unlock and open, and don’t you want to know what’s on the other side?