Gospel of John [20:19-23]. Sending the apostles - God's destiny for the believer, part 2.

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [20:19-23]. Sending the apostles - God's destiny for the believer, part 2.


Announcements/opening prayer:



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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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,


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.


1CO 12:24 whereas our seemly members have no need of it [clothing - face or hands]. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,


God honors the believer who serves Him without the need to be seen or recognized. If he is then fine, but it has no bearing on what he does.


1CO 12:25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.


COL 3:12-14

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.


Modern science confirms that the billions of cells in the body work in harmony for the health of the whole body. The verb "care" is the same that Jesus used for our anxiety over ourselves - which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life span? We are commanded by our Lord not to be anxious about ourselves yet here we see that we should be anxious for others. The obvious sense of the word would not be worry that stems from fear but an energetic longing for their benefit and care.


1CO 12:26 And if one member suffers [medical term], all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.


When one part of the body suffers other parts are affected as well. A sickness in one part of the body almost always has symptoms in other parts. In the same way we should feel a deep interest in the welfare of all members of the body of Christ and in agape love, as we have recently learned, this does not apply only to those whom you like or like you.


This suffering would fall into the categories of both undeserved suffering and deserved.


GAL 6:1-2

Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.


The Galatians who were earnestly attempting to live the Christian way of life by means of the Law and therefore of the flesh rather than the Spirit found many failures and sins creeping into their lives. The word "caught" means to be overtaken by surprise. They were convinced they were on the right path but recognized themselves being taken unawares by sins. The problem wasn't their desire but their belief in a debunked system, the Law.


Those in the Galatian churches who had not fallen for the lies of the Judiazers were commanded to help restore them back to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit under grace and to do so in gentleness. This would not be done in pointing out sins committed. What good would it do to a Christian living under a false system to know of his sin and yet remain under the system? The restoration was to bring them back to grace and dependence upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit and away from the Law and the flesh. This gives insight into Christian love in helping to restore another that God brings into your life. We are not to point out sins but to help them see God's way, the way of Christ and the new creature in Christ who walks by means of the Spirit.  


And in like manner, when parts of the body are prospering in health and vitality it also effects other parts of the body. With those in the body of Christ who greatly prosper in any area we are to rejoice with them and rejoice in the grace of God rather the natural human reflex of jealousy.


1CO 12:27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it [each is unique and members of the one body].


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


2. Breathing upon them the Holy Spirit. We cannot execute the plan that God has graciously given us without the Holy Spirit.


The second statement has caused quite a bit of controversy in the church.


JOH 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.


/Christ does what only God can do.

GEN 2:7

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.


Any person who thinks he has this power is very misguided. By giving them the Holy Spirit immediately it means that their work was to begin immediately. For them only, for the next several weeks, as they traveled to Galilee and back they were to begin their apostleship and preach the gospel and the truth. They cannot do this without the Holy Spirit and nor can we. At Pentecost all believers would receive the Spirit of God.


The Son received the Spirit in unrestricted fullness for the discharge of His own mission and so now they receive the Spirit for the discharge of theirs, as do all believers in the CA.


JOH 1:32

And John bore witness saying, "I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.


JOH 3:34

"For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.


John stated in JOH 7:39 that the Spirit was not yet given because Christ was not yet glorified, but now the time for imparting the Spirit has come.


Since the church would receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, 50 days from this day, it can only be concluded that Christ imparted to them the Holy Spirit temporarily in the way that the Spirit empowered others in the NT and the few mentioned in the gospels.


Christ gave the disciples the Holy Spirit in a temporary fashion, as was infrequently done in the OT in order to guide and empower them until the feast of Pentecost.


This has led a few idiots to believe that they can breathe to Spirit onto others, when all they impart is bad breath.


A study of the work of the Holy Spirit in the gospels is important, and it is mostly in relation to Christ. The OT prophesied that the Messiah would have the Holy Spirit upon Him.


ISA 11:2

And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and strength,

The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.


ISA 42:1

"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;

My chosen one in whom My soul delights.

I have put My Spirit upon Him;


ISA 61:1-2

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

Because the Lord has anointed me

To bring good news to the afflicted;

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to captives,

And freedom to prisoners;

To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,


Christ quotes this passage in Luk 4 and tells them that on that day it was fulfilled in their hearing.


Many of the prophecies of the HS in the OT are for the Millennial reign of Christ. Remember that the church was a mystery in the OT and is not mentioned.


However, it would be Christ who would prophesy the Spirit's work in the church.


JOH 7:38-39

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'"  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


As in the Old Testament, some saints were filled with the Spirit, but this ministry was limited to a few, only four people being mentioned in addition to Christ:


LUK 1:15

"For he [John the Baptist] will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in [ek = from] his mother's womb.


LUK 1:41

And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.


LUK 1:67

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied,


LUK 2:25

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.


So we conclude that a temporary filling of the Spirit was given to provide the disciples with the spiritual needs prior to Pentecost.


These gospel passages were not intended to be a norm for the present age, but in general continue the ministry of the Spirit as it had been in the OT.


Of major importance in the gospels is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to Christ in His life and His sufferings leading up to His spiritual death, empowering Him, guiding Him, and teaching Him all the way as He laid aside the independent use of His deity.


What must be recognized is that the first statement is connected to the second. We are sent as the Son was sent - by means of the power of God the Holy Spirit.