Reading: John 20: 19-23
Verse 22: …He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
The disciples have been taught about the Holy Spirit. Now, today in our passage, they receive the Holy Spirit themselves as Jesus breathed it into them. Just as God breathes human life into each of us at birth, here Jesus breathes new life into His followers. The disciples transition from living with Jesus to having Him live IN them in the person of the Holy Spirit. This gift of constant presence within comes with the charge to go out into the world to continue Jesus’ work. To do so, the disciples must first overcome their own fears and doubts and, second, must trust fully in the Spirit.
Jesus does little more than give them the basic charge. He says, “I am sending you” and then ‘He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”‘. Although the scope and range of the assignment is huge and vast, it does not come with detailed instructions or a handbook or a manual. Any of this would have led to a trust in human things instead of the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and protect. And after all, the disciples have spent three solid years receiving on-the-job training from the Master. From the results of their work going forward, we can see that they did indeed go out and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
We too bear the same charge and we too have the presence of the same Spirit with us as we go forth. And we have the Bible. Within His word we can read and review and study how Jesus and His followers lived out their love of God in the world. We can glean out how to pray and how to fully trust in God’s care and provision. Through the witness and testimony we find in the Word we can come to see and understand the power of the Holy Spirit and can then trust in the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and protect us as well. Filled with this knowledge and trust, may we also go out to share the good news of Jesus Christ.