Sermon Outline On John 20:19-22
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus comes to the disciples on Easter evening. That morning the tomb was found empty, and that evening Jesus visits the disciples. Jesus promised them he would see them soon and here he is.
And where does he find the disciples? LOCKED in a house – for fear of the Lord. They were afraid. Do we ever come to the security of the church to hide from the world? Do we prefer the security of the church to night shelters, jails, hospitals, nursing homes? Were those disciples so much different than us? Clustered together in fellowship rather than going into the world to share the news of a savior.
After Jesus greets the disciples, he shows them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced. This was Jesus standing in their midst. This was the Jesus who died a dreadful death on a cross. This was the Jesus who was speared in the side. John reports that when Jesus was pierced while on the cross, blood and water ran out. Jesus was already dead and the soldier shoved that spear into his side. Now Jesus was double dead. This Jesus has the marks of the crucifixion that killed him. This Jesus standing before them has the marks of a spear wound that would have killed him.
This Jesus that stood in their midst was once dead. He had not been in a trance or passed out. He bears the marks of a man who died.
When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb that morning, she asked, “Where have they taken him.”
Some have said, “There was no resurrection, someone took the body.”
Jesus as he stands before these disciples answers that question, “Where have they taken him.”
The answer — No where. Jesus rose from the grave. This is Jesus the Christ. A week later Thomas would see and feel the wounds and proclaim THE Christian profession of faith. “Jesus my Lord and my God.”
Jesus greeted them with the words, “Peace be with you.” In verses 19 -26, John has Jesus saying, “Peace be with you” 3 times. Some would say this was a common greeting for that time. Jesus was simply sharing a common greeting.
I believe those words were more than a common greeting. Those words were a promise — a promised gift. According to John the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit during this visit by Jesus. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians tells us that the fruit of the Spirit includes PEACE. When the Holy Spirit indwells us, we have peace.
The Holy Spirit was coming to the disciples and with the Spirit comes Peace. Peace be with you was more than a greeting it was a promise.
For us gathered here today, Jesus has promised that same peace. Life is difficult. Life sometimes seems unbearable. Life can be the pits, BUT in the midst of life’s drama there can be peace.
John has packed these few verses with significant events. Jesus said to them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus commissions the disciples. To what task are they commissioned? The same task God gave to Jesus. The task — to manifest God’s love in their words and deeds.
William Barclay points out just how much is packed in those few words. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. That commission means at least three things: (1) Jesus is dependent on his Church. (2) The Church is dependent on Jesus. (3) The sending of the church by Jesus is parallel to the sending of Jesus by God.
A statue of Christ in a town square in Germany had its hands blown off by allied bombing during World War II. The people of the town commissioned an artist to rebuild the statue. Before any work began, the people decided on a different approach. Rather than restoring the statue to its pre-war condition, the people decided to place a sign at the base of that statue. The sign read: “Christ has no hands but yours.”
‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ It means that Jesus Christ needs the church which is exactly what Paul meant when he called the church “the body of Christ.” Jesus had come with a message for all people, and now he was going back to his Father. His message could never be taken to everyone, unless the church took it.
When Luigi Tarisio was found dead one morning, his house contained few luxuries, but it contained 246 violins, many of them of great value. The greatest of his collection, a Stradivarius, was found in the bottom drawer of a rickety old bureau, where it had lain unplayed for many decades. He had collected violins all his life, cramming them into an attic–and leaving them unplayed.
Are we like Luigi? Storing and saving the truth for ourselves and failing to share the good news of resurrection with the world? The message of Jesus Christ is ours to share. We are commissioned to be the mouth of Jesus.
The church was to be a mouth to speak for Jesus, feet to run upon his errands, hands to do his work. Therefore, it means Jesus is dependent on his church.
People who are to be sent out need someone to send them; they need a message to take; they need a power and an authority to back their message;
they need someone to whom they may turn when they are in doubt and in difficulty.
Without Jesus, the Church has no message; without him she has no power; without him she has no one to turn to when up against it; without him she has nothing to enlighten her mind, to strengthen her arm, to encourage her heart.
This means that the Church is dependent on Jesus.
The sending out of the Church by Jesus is parallel to the sending out of Jesus by God. In John’s gospel the relationship between Jesus and God was continually dependent on Jesus’ perfect obedience and perfect love. Jesus could be God’s messenger only because he rendered to God that perfect obedience and love.
It follows that the church is fit to be the messenger and instrument of Christ only when she perfectly loves him and perfectly obeys him. The Church must never be out to propagate her message; she must be out to propagate the message of Christ. She must never be out to follow human policies; she must be out to follow the will of Christ.
The church fails whenever she tries to solve some problem in her own wisdom and strength, and leaves out of account the will and guidance of Jesus Christ.
A young sentry was on guard duty for the first time. His orders were not to admit any car unless it had a special identification seal. The first unmarked car the sentry encountered contained a general, who became frustrated with the young sentry and told the driver to go on through.
The sentry politely replied, “Excuse me, sir, but I’m new at this. Who do I shoot first, you or the driver?”
Are we as obedient in following the will and guidance of Jesus Christ as this young man was at following his orders?
How you ask is it possible to do the job Jesus started? How can we be the mouth, hands, and feet of Jesus? How can we possibly be up to that task?
As soon as Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John doesn’t wait 50 days for Pentecost. John describes the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples on Easter evening.
God breathed life into Adam and Eve. God breathed new life into the dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision. God through the risen Christ breathed new life into the disciples. They were given the Holy Spirit.
When we become Christians, God breaths new life into us. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is available to us. That is why Paul can boast, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Jesus comes to us with the same message he gave to those disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus comes to us today. His hands, feet and side reveal the love he has for us. Can you hear him?
He is saying, ‘Peace be with you.’
He is saying, ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
He is saying, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’