|Superintendent: Assistant Pastor Jerald L. Bryant
Sunday Morning: 10:30 - 11:30 am
|Christlike Ministries of Deliverance International, Inc.
Sunday School Department
|Lesson: John 20:19-23; Time of the Action: 30 A.D.; Place of the action: Jerusalem
By the end of the lesson, we will: EXPLORE the importance of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples; DESCRIBE our feelings from times when the words of others calmed our fears; and PERFORM the mission God has for our lives as
empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I. INTRODUCTION. It started out as just volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center. Joy wanted young ladies to know that there was hope for them as they faced unplanned pregnancies. One woman, Ama, who came to America on
a school visa, entered into a relationship and found herself pregnant, alone, and ashamed. But, Joy gave her hope. Ama went on to raise her son, telling him stories of his heritage and his homeland. When he was old enough, he decided he
wanted to return to their home country to attend university. Ama decided to go with him. Once there, she developed relationships with young women who were in similar situations that she had been in. She grieved, knowing there was more to
be done, but unsure of what and how to do it. So she prayed for wisdom, and Joy came to mind. They reconnected, and from one conversation a vision was born. Today, Ama’s organization provides shelter, job training, Bible studies, and
parenting support for young ladies in four different countries. On many Sundays we go through numerous activities. We get up early (maybe), get the family ready, attend Sunday school and the morning service. Some afternoons we may have
a church activity or a committee meeting, and then maybe an evening service. At the end of the day, we are ready for some quiet time at home. But we are not the only ones to have a busy Sunday. On the day of His resurrection, the first day
of the week, Jesus also was busy. He appeared on five occasions on that day, ministering to various people. His last appearance on that day was to the disciples in the closed room (see John 20:19-23) and it is the subject of this week’s
lesson. It shows how the Holy Spirit can empower us to make a difference, for God’s glory.
King James Version (KJV)
I. JESUS’ APPEARANCE (John 20:19-20)
19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20. And when
he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
II. JESUS’ COMMISSION (John 20:21-23)
21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23. Whose soever sins ye remit, they
are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
New International Version (NIV)
(John 20: 19-23)
I. JESUS’ APPEARANCE (John 20:19-20)
19. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20. After he said this, he showed them
his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
II. JESUS’ COMMISSION (John 20:21-23)
21. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive
them, they are not forgiven.”
II. BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. This week’s lesson takes place on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. That morning, a group of women went to the tomb with spices and found it to be empty. They were told by angels that Jesus
had risen. Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene (see John 20:11-18), other women (see Matthew 28:9-10), Simon Peter (see Luke 24:34; I Corinthians 15:5), two disciples on the Emmaus road (see Luke 24:13-32) and finally the
disciples in the closed room (see John 20:19-23). Our lesson is part of that last appearance.
III. JESUS’ APPEARANCE (John 20:19-20)
A. Jesus’ greeting after His resurrection (John 20:19). Our first verse says “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the
Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” We are told that it was the “first day of the week” which was Sunday. The disciples were in a room “when the doors were shut.” In other
words, they were in hiding behind locked doors. They were hiding “for fear of the Jews” meaning they were afraid for their own lives. The term “the Jews” refers to the religious leaders who were responsible for Jesus’ death. Since their
Leader had been killed, they thought they would be next. Not noted for courage, the disciples had fled when Jesus was captured in Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:56). The phrase “Then the same day at evening” indicates that everything
that took place that evening followed Jesus’ appearance to the two disciples on the Emmaus road who had returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples that they had seen Jesus (see Luke 24:36). As soon as they shared their experience, John
writes that then “came Jesus and stood in the midst.” In other words, Jesus appeared among them. Just as He had earlier passed through the linen grave clothes without disturbing them (see John 20:6-7), now Jesus passed through locked
doors. His glorified body was still the same body that had died on the cross (see John 20:20) but was now free from usual human limitations. When Jesus first appeared to them, the disciples were terrified and thought they had seen a spirit
(see Luke 24:37). Jesus proved to be more than a spirit when He went on to show them His hands and His side (see John 20:20). In their agitated and fearful state of mind, Jesus greeted the disciples saying “Peace be unto you.” The word
“Peace” was a common greeting and is the Jewish word “shalom.” Note: Since Jesus’ death, the disciples were filled with despair, anxiety, and sorrow. Their minds were in turmoil and their future looked bleak. If there were
ever people who needed peace, these disciples surely did. As He always does, Jesus gave these disciples the soothing assurance that all was well. Although “peace” was a common greeting, it took on special meaning
for these men, for in the upper room before His death, Jesus had promised them a peace that the world couldn’t give (see John 14:27). A peace that would overshadow their troubles (see John 16:33). Since Jesus had
bought peace between God and man “through the blood of his cross” (see Colossians 1:20), now He could proclaim that same peace to His own followers in their time of despair. Jesus still brings peace today. His peace
brings reconciliation with God for every believer (see Romans 5:1) and also unites those who were once divided by cultural prejudice (see Ephesians 2:13-18). The peace that Christ gives is a fruit of the Spirit that should
be demonstrated by Christians (see Galatians 5:22; Romans 12:18; Hebrew 12:14), and it also guards our minds in ways that we can’t understand (see Philippians 4:7).
B. The disciples’ response to the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:20). This verse says “And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the
Lord.” The phrase “And when he had so said” refers to Jesus’ comforting words of “peace” He had just given to His disciples. After comforting them, if there was still any doubt that this was Jesus and not a spirit, Jesus gave proof of who
He was. He “shewed unto them his hands and his side.” He allowed them to examine the wounds from His crucifixion and know that He was really the risen Lord. According to Luke’s account, Jesus invited the disciples to look at His
hands and His feet and to feel free to touch Him (see Luke 24:28-40). And if that wasn’t proof enough, Jesus asked them for something to eat. They gave Him a piece of fish and honeycomb and He ate it in front of them (see John 24:41-
43). This proved that He was not a spirit because spirits don’t need food. Satisfied that Jesus was a real person and not a spirit, the last part of this verse says “Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” Fear, dread and
uncertainty were now gone; Jesus had overcome the grave!
IV. JESUS’ COMMISSION (John 20:21-23)
A. Jesus gives the charge to His disciples (John 20:21). This verse says “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Now that these men were reassured that this
was really Jesus, He repeated His greeting of “Peace be unto you.” Not only did this repetition calm the disciples, but it also prepared them for a new commission: “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Jesus had been sent
by the Father to complete a two-part mission or purpose: to provide salvation for mankind, and impart eternal life to those who believed (see John 3:16-17, 36; 10:10). He had obediently carried out every detail of that mission (see John 17:2-
4). But He also had prepared, preserved, and protected this small core of men to continue His work after He left the earth (see John 17:6-18). Jesus now passed on the mission to the disciples. The phrase “even so send I you” refers to
the mission the disciples would be given. Note: The emphasis here is on obedience and submission to Jesus’ will in fulfilling their mission just as Jesus had submitted and obeyed the Father’s will. Just as Jesus had
witnessed concerning the Father, the disciples would bear witness concerning Jesus (see John 15:26-27; Luke 24:46-48). Just as Jesus had performed works in His Father’s name, the disciples would do the same in His
name (see Mark 16:17-18; Acts 4:7-10). Jesus even told them before they left the upper room that they would do greater works than He did (see John 14:12). And just as Jesus had laid down His life, the disciples would
be expected to do the same (see John 15:18-21; 16:1-3). However, this does not mean that the disciples were to fulfill the same mission that Jesus had, because that would be impossible. They couldn’t die for the sin of
the world. They could only continue what He started, but be prepared for persecution.
B. Jesus endows His disciples (John 20:22). This verse says “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” If the disciples were going to successfully carry out Jesus’
commission, they would need divine enabling. Therefore, Jesus “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” This is a difficult statement to interpret when we consider that the Holy Spirit would not come
permanently until some fifty days later at the Feast of Pentecost. Note: Some scholars see this endowment as a partial and temporary bestowal of spiritual power upon the disciples in anticipation of the Day of Pentecost. They
point out that Jesus’ breathing on the disciples signifies the beginning of a new creation, just as the divine breath of God brought Adam to life (see Genesis 2:7). However, John 3:34, tells us that God does not give the
Spirit by measure or in portions. Either you have the Holy Spirit or you don’t. Therefore this interpretation does not appear to be adequate. It may be best to understand the breathing and the command to receive the
Spirit as symbolic of what would happen later at Pentecost when the disciples would receive the Holy Spirit in all His power (see Acts 1:8; 2:1-6). We may not know for sure what Jesus meant by these words, but we do
know that His breathing and commanding His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit was not the beginning of the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. That event would come some seven weeks later on the Day of
Pentecost. Jesus remained on earth for forty days after His resurrection (see Acts 1:1-3). When He ascended into heaven ten days before Pentecost, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come
upon them (see Acts 1:4-8). When that day came, some fifty days after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit came upon all the believers in Jerusalem, indwelled them, and empowered them for ministry. From that day
forward, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of salvation (see II Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:12-14).
C. Jesus gives authority to His disciples (John 20:23). In our final verse Jesus continues to say to His disciples “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
retained.” These words, like those passages dealing with loosing and binding in Matthew 16:16; 18:18, have been misunderstood to mean that Jesus gave the apostles and all future believers the power to forgive or not forgive sins. However,
this declaration didn’t give the apostles power to forgive or refuse forgiveness. The words “they (sins) are remitted” and “they (sins) are retained” are in the past tense and can be literally translated as “they have been remitted” and
“they have been retained.” In other words, the releasing or forgiveness of sin, and the retention or not forgiving sins has already been done in heaven by God. Only God can forgive or retain a person’s sins based on their response to the
gospel of Christ. The apostles, and now believers, have been given the authority to only proclaim what God has already done. Note: Simply speaking, this verse means that the apostles (and all future believers, including us) are
empowered by Christ to declare that all that trust the atoning work of Christ for them have been forgiven of their sins. If they accept Jesus’ sacrifice for them, we have the authority to declare to them, “Your sins are
forgiven” because God has already forgiven them. However, if they reject Christ’s sacrifice, we also have the authority to declare to them, “Your sins are not forgiven (retained)” because God has not forgiven them.
Again, no one has the authority to “remit” or forgive sins except God. And no one has the authority to “retain” or not forgive sins except God. The only authority we have as believers is to declare that a person’s sins
are forgiven or not forgiven based on their response to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
V. Conclusion. Jesus’ appearance to His disciples was a momentous occasion. By appearing to them in that locked up room, Jesus proved the reality of His resurrection; gave the commission for them to bear witness of Him; bestowed the
power they needed; and gave them the message of forgiveness of sins. And because of God’s grace all this is provided for us as well.
1. In times of fear and uncertainty, believers find strength in fellowship (John 20:19).
2. Jesus brings peace and confidence when He enters our fearful situations (John 20:20).
3. Jesus has given every believer the privilege and responsibility of sharing the gospel (John 20:21).
4. God has given us the authority and power to do His work in the world (John 20:22).
5. As we share the gospel, people who hear the message will receive forgiveness when they believe that message (John 20:23).
|Sunday, March 22, 2015
Receive the Holy Spirit
Golden Text: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy
Ghost” (John 20:22).
|Daily Bible Readings:
MONDAY: The Holy Spirit Speaks (Mark 13:5–11)
TUESDAY: Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:39–48)
WEDNESDAY: Full of the Spirit and Faith (Acts 11:19–26)
THURSDAY: Joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:13–19)
FRIDAY: Power from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–8)
SATURDAY: Be Filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15–21)
SUNDAY: Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:19–23)
|Say It Correctly