Gospel of John [20:19-23]. Sending the apostles - God's destiny for the believer.

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [20:19-23]. Sending the apostles - God's destiny for the believer.


Announcements/opening prayer:


When the disciples recognized the Lord their fear was turned to rejoicing. We see Him every day through His word.


JOH 20:19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."


JOH 20:20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord.


The scars make His bodily recognition unmistakable and undeniably made of flesh. Yet the scars have a greater significance as a memorial of His victory for all of eternity.


JOH 20:21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."


With the joy of their reunion, Jesus repeats the benediction, "Peace be with you," restating that they are friends and then presses into three core statements.


First is the disciples' mission which He spoke of in His prayer.


JOH 17:18 "As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.


JOH 17:19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.


Now comes their actual sending.


In both cases He relates their mission in connection with His own. He commands them and us to do what the Father commanded that He do.


1. The unity of the Father and Son and their common purpose are given as a gift to us who are in the sphere of Their unity and love.


The final part of His prayer is specifically about this. We are not sent out alone. We have each other in the Royal Family, and that is of priceless value, but more importantly we are each forever in the sphere of Their unity, Their love, Their purpose.


MAT 28:19-20

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


JOH 17:20 "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;


JOH 17:21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.


JOH 17:22 "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one;


JOH 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.


JOH 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world [Their eternal relationship].


JOH 17:25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me;


JOH 17:26 and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."


JOH 20:21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."


The technical term "apostle" is avoided by John, but by the use of the cognate verb apostello (the Father has sent Me) he indicates that the disciples now become effectively apostles in the sense of "sent ones."


We can be sure that the plan of God for us is not inconsequential, not for any person. As the Father sent Him, He sends us.


We would not conclude that our plan or mission is on the same level of importance as the Lord's but that it has the purpose of God the Father stamped on it or rather, we can say that each plan for each believer has been sealed by God. That is for each individual believer. Is there any part of the Father's program that is inconsequential?


The NT has quite a bit to say about God's purpose for us.


ROM 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.


EPH 1:11

we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will


COL 1:29

And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.


1TH 4:7

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.\


/1TI 4:7-8

discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.


2TI 1:9

who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity


1PE 2:21

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps


The disciples have been blessed with a wonderful purpose from the Father, sending them in the same way as the Son, with the word of God, the filling of the Spirit, and a perfect plan.


In the same spirit of competitiveness that sneaks into the church from the world people not only compare others and themselves to one another, rather than operating in love which brings unity, they compete with plans. For example, some view the plan of God for the housewife and mother to be lesser than the missionary or pastor. This is ridiculous, as if God could do more for one person over another. What more could He have done for any of us? Just because one plan is behind the scenes and not noticed by many others does that fact make it any less effective? If a believer influences one other person, wouldn't that same virtue influence a thousand others? Or is God's virtue limited? If a mother's Christian virtue influences her few children in a godly way wouldn't that same influence have effected a hundred children? And, does God's power wax or wane because people witness it or they don't?


Despite their many failures, forsaking Him, denying Him, living in fear, doubting, not understanding the scriptures, etc. He still calls them to a wonderful plan from the Father.


God gives each of us a plan that is tailor fit just for us. It does not fit one other person in history.


1CO 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.


1CO 12:5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.


1CO 12:6 And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.


1CO 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.


Then a list of temporary spiritual gifts are mentioned which no longer exist. These are coveted today for the same reason that people want to compete and compare and want to rank the merit of different types of God's plan's for believers or their spiritual gifts.


And then Paul points to virtue love as the bond of unity in the body of Christ.


1CO 12:12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.


1CO 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


1CO 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.


1CO 12:15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.


1CO 12:16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.


1CO 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?


1CO 12:18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.


1CO 12:19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?


1CO 12:20 But now there are many members, but one body.


1CO 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."


1CO 12:22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;


One must stay in the metaphor if we are to properly and accurately interpret it.


Weaker refers to that which is more susceptible to injury like the vital organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidneys. Alone they are weak and they are hidden, but they are vital.


A muscle or bone injury is more easily recovered from than an internal injury to a vital organ. These ones that are referred to are the Christians who serve humbly, behind the scenes, giving, praying, doing the little things that are vital to the ministry. They are not seen and they don't mind it.


1CO 12:23 and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly [covered or hidden from sight] members come to have more abundant seemliness,


One could think of the coal miner who goes into the belly of the earth, gets dirty, risks his health and life in order to provide warmth for others in the winter.


We bestow is a word meaning to place a garland around or to put a garment on. We cloth and adorn our unseemly parts and so we should honor in our hearts those who serve behind the scenes with joy and contentment.