Bible Insights

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

Peace Be with You!

Today’s passage: John 20:19–20, along with Mark 16:14 and Luke 24:36–43

Focus verse: Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)

Having spent several days focusing on Luke’s account of the pair of disciples who travel to Emmaus, we segue from Luke’s gospel back to John’s.

Our next story—told by both Luke and John—occurs immediately after Cleopas and his friend tell the disciples about recognizing Jesus when he broke bread for them.

These disciples gather, hiding behind locked doors. They fear the religious leaders. This makes sense. If they killed Jesus, what might they do to his followers who now say he’s risen from the dead?

With the doors shut and locked, Jesus materializes before them. This is the opposite of him disappearing in front of Cleopas and his friend. Though Jesus is still in a physical form, there’s a supernatural element to his resurrected body.

John writes that Jesus says, “Peace be with you,” likely because his sudden appearance terrifies them. He shows them his hands and side, where the wounds from his crucifixion remain. They’re overjoyed to see him.

Now we can add the rest of the disciples (except for Thomas who we’ll later learn isn’t there) to the list of people who have seen the risen Savior.

Luke adds additional information to John’s account. He writes that Jesus’s sudden appearance startles them. They think they’ve seen a ghost.

He gently chastises them. “Why are you so troubled? Why do you allow doubts to creep into your mind?” Then he adds, “Look at my hands and feet. Touch me and see. I am not a ghost.”

He shows them the wounds on his hands and feet.

Even after this, Luke writes that they still have trouble believing. He eats some food in their presence, as if to confirm he isn’t a ghost and really is the risen Jesus.

The addendum to Mark’s account is different. It says Jesus rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him.

Given the context of Mark’s narrative, he may refer specifically to them not believing Mary Magdalene’s testimony.


  • When have we struggled with a lack of faith?
  • When have we been stubborn to believe what others tell us about Jesus?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, fill us with faith to fully believe in Jesus and strengthen us to stay true to him through the rest of our lives, regardless of what happens.

Celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and his return to heaven in The Victory of Jesus. The Victory of Jesus is another book in Peter DeHaan’s beloved Holiday Celebration Bible Study Series. Get your copy today.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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