You’re Just A %&#$!!!

You’re Just A %&#$!!! April 6, 2024

You’re Just A %&#$!!!

A Little Story

Several years back, I had a run-in with some people I went to High School with. I hadn’t seen them since the graduation party, and I had only recently reconnected with them on social media. It was a big election year and from the get-go, we were on the opposite sides of the fence. No matter how many well-reasoned arguments I gave, they were met with ever-increasing ire and hate. Eventually, there was a round of name-calling and actual threats to body and life delivered in a not-so-benign way. And, of course, I was completely innocent!!!

Communication came to a full stop. No more banter, ribbing, or joking. Nope, it was a total break. Trust, basic “good-will,” and well-mannered conversation—gone for good. There could be no trust, no respect, no common ground found. These back-and-forth discussions were over social media. We never called one another, got together, or were in the same place at the same time. We never broke bread together, saw each other at our workplace, or met each other’s families.

Public Domain
Using social media and texting does not mean we need to lose our sense of decency. Unfortunately, most do not see it this way today.

Looking Back

Here we are, one week after Jesus was given up—by someone he trusted with his purse, who he ate with, and who he brought into His inner circle. Here we are, one week after the chosen “leader of the band” said, “I don’t know him, “and “I have nooo idea who you’re talking about!” Here we are, one week after every one of Jesus’s followers scattered like rats leaving a ship—all but John, who took Mary into his own house. Here we are, one week after the death of a friend and master who you lived with, ate with, joked with, learned from, and knew was the Chosen One—not expecting ever to see Him again.

So how do you think these people felt about seeing Jesus for the first time after He rose from the dead? What do you think they would have to say to Jesus after they denied Him, ran from Him, wanted nothing to do with Him? And what do you think they thought Jesus would have to say and do to them? I seriously had to think about what I would feel, what I would think, what I would do.

Public Domain
It wasn’t until he saw that he believed.

The Unexpected

One week after Jesus shared Passover with them, went through a passion, was crucified, died, and buried. One week after, He rose again to life… He came to them in the privacy of a locked room. What did Jesus do or say? Did He blast them and accuse them of desertion? Did He pray to God and rain fire down upon them? Did He yell and cajole them for denying Him, for running away, for going back to their old lives and acting like He never existed?


Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you” (John 20: 19). He didn’t scream, yell, or make a scene. No. Instead, He calmly showed them His hands and His side and said again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20: 21). Jesus didn’t acknowledge their betrayal. He acted as if all was washed away. They were working from a clean slate. In fact, He went one step further and gave them the greatest gift anyone had ever given. “He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20: 22-23).

Public Domain
If you don’t like me, I’m going to dislike you more. And it will keep growing until we have our own little war.

Take Away

As I read through Jesus’s first response after He comes back to them, I am in actual awe. There was no malice, no memory, no ill will. It’s as if all was expected, accounted for, and forgiven in one moment. In place of hate-filled words, name-calling, and threats to body and life, there was a single word— “Peace.” I mean, they left Him to die!

So, the next time you have the urge to take out a flame thrower and light up a conversation with an enemy, think about all the reasons Jesus had to do that very thing—but didn’t. The next time you find yourself in a heated discussion, where the person across the fence from you is refusing to listen to reason or understand where you’re coming from, think about Jeus’s action—immediately forgiving the fear, denial, and abandonment. The next time you want to serve up the words of heat and hate, offering the coup-de-grâce to the conversation, think of Jesus’s opening word in the locked room—”Peace.”

I’ll try if you do.

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