Do you remember when? John: 20:1-29

The gathered disciples– John 20:19-23

It was later in the same day when the disciples had gathered behind locked doors that Jesus next appeared. No doubt the only topic of conversation would have been the various individual reports from those who had seen Jesus during the day. This though hadn’t changed their basic mind set. They were still afraid probably thinking that they could be arrested at any moment. This was a group who had yet to understand the victory Jesus had achieved. Even if they had fully believed the reports they may well have considered Jesus’ resurrection in the same terms as Lazarus – resurrected to die again at some time in the future. They had not yet become bold, but Jesus was just about to deal with that. John records that, ‘Jesus came and stood among them.’ v19 There is no explanation as to how this happened although the implication is that it was miraculous. Jesus first of all ministered to their fear with the words, ‘Peace be with you!’ v19 Shalom (peace) is one of the key words in the bible regarding salvation. It carries multidimensional meanings. In the New Testament it concerns, “the reconciliation of all things to God through the work of Christ.” (NIV Study Bible 2011: Tim Keller.) Shalom is peace experienced by one’s whole being: physical, mental, spiritual and in relationship with one another. Jesus through his blessing to the disciples was referring to all he had succeeded in doing on the cross. ‘God was pleased … to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace by the blood of his cross.’ Colossians 1:19-20 Jesus showed them the physical evidence that he was indeed the Jesus who had been crucified. The disciples’ reaction was the one of all true disciples when in the presence of Jesus, they were overjoyed. He then commissioned and equipped them for their ongoing work. Along with all the blessing that receiving Christ’s shalom involved they were told that he was sending them in the same way as he had been sent by God the Father. To confirm that he breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit. There has been much discussion about what that meant. Some have said it was the gift of the Holy Spirit as in the Old Testament, given to particular people for particular tasks. Others say it was symbolizing the gift of the Holy Spirit to all disciples that took place 50 days later on the day of Pentecost. The forgiving of sins was not meant as disciples taking on the role of God to forgive. It is much more likely that it referred to their future gospel work declaring that God will forgive all those who repent and believe. In this one short passage then we have the disciples receiving the full blessing Jesus attained for them on the cross. The immediate joy of the disciples being in the presence of Christ and the commissioning and equipping of the disciples for their gospel work. This was a very focused visit and it does not seem as if there was any time for social chit chat. Are you trusting Christ for the full blessing Jesus gives his disciples?