Evening
July 12

John 20:21-23 21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."


When Jesus appeared to His disciples, He said, "Peace be with you!" They probably needed to hear those words, since the man who said this to them had been murdered a few days earlier. Then, in our passage today, He said it a second time. The resurrection is cause for us to have peace, peace with God, peace within our hearts and our minds.

The next words from His lips would seem to cause anything but peace, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." How can you have peace when you know you are going out into a world that will hate your message? Read on.

"Receive the Holy Spirit." The Greek word for "spirit," "breath," and "wind" is pneuma. Remember, the Spirit is not yet in them, but is with them (John 14:17). If they receive His work, they will be at peace in a world of tribulation. In a short time, He will be living in and through them. That is where real peace is found for peace is a fruit of the Spirit.

As they went out into the world, Jesus had given them an extraordinary right. He had granted them the same authority with which He forgave sins. This was one thing that upset the Pharisees (Mark 2:8-11; Matthew 9:68). How can God give such authority to men? Those men are men who have received the Spirit of God and walk as Jesus walked. They have the discernment of the Spirit to know who is genuinely repentant and who is not. If you are a person who received the Spirit, are you letting Him do this work through you? As His instruments in the world, we need to be aware of this authority and exercise it at His instruction.

Remember: As the Father sent Jesus into the world, Jesus now sends you.