Peace, Purpose, and the Holy Spirit

In John 20:16-30, Jesus tells Mary to go tell his “brothers” that he was alive.

It’s interesting that Jesus chose a woman to bear witness to his resurrection because the courts of the day would not recognize a woman’s testimony. Women were unreliable witnesses. This decision shows that Jesus wasn’t too concerned about proving himself because if he was, he would have found a witness who was a man and who was well respected and trusted. Yet, Jesus chose a woman. 

Mary does as she’s told and later that night, as the disciples met, they locked themselves in a room because they were scared of the Jews, and Jesus showed up. He didn’t come through the locked doors, but rather just seemed to appear and said, “Peace be with you.” If I was in that room, I think the last thing I would be feeling is peace, which is probably why Jesus came offering his peace. 

Not only did Jesus bring them peace, but he also gave them a purpose and the Holy Spirit. 

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’

John 20:21-22

Many theologians believe that the act of breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples is a parallel to God breathing life into man at Creation. The disciples were now born again and had the Holy Spirit dwelling within them to be their helper and guide. 

When Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” it is best understood as a foretaste of what would happen when the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost (see Acts 2). This does not mean that the Holy Spirit had no presence in the disciples’ lives prior to this point *

As believers, and new creations in Christ, we have the same Holy Spirit that Jesus breathed into the disciples, and we are given the same charge: we are sent. 

Where is God sending you sister? How is the Holy Spirit helping and guiding you? 

* Note from: ESV® Study Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright ©2008 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.

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