Monday, April 21, 2014

Receive the Spirit

"... look at My hands" - Jesus - Artist unknown
"Look at My hands" - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 20:19-31

TO CHEW ON: So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to You!' As the Father has sent me, I also send you.' And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" John 20:20-21

This quiet scene of Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit into His disciples shortly after His resurrection is quite a contrast to the pandemonium of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2-13). An article in my Bible talks about the differences:

"Jesus' words 'Receive the Holy Spirit' help to set in context two different works of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life. First, here on Easter night the disciples do, in fact 'receive the Spirit' as the 'Spirit of life' - Romans 8:2. … Second, however, on Pentecost the work of God's Spirit as the Spirit of power (Isaiah 11:2 "might") is to enable Jesus' disciples for ministry—witness and service—to fulfill their mission to the world" - Scott G. Bauer, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1481.

Just as God the Father breathed the breath of physical life into the nostrils of the first man (Genesis 2:7), here Jesus—God the Son—breathes spiritual life into the disciples (Romans 8:11-17). Then, later, on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit empowers them for this new-life ministry.

Both works of the Spirit are necessary in our lives too—the new birth and the Spirit's empowering for what we are left on earth to do.

Dear Jesus, thank You for giving us new spiritual life through Your Spirit and for also giving us the power for ministry through Him. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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