Home > Uncategorized > The Disciples Became Apostles (pt II)

The Disciples Became Apostles (pt II)

December 16, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Back in July I wrote a blog post titled The Disciples Became Apostles. Since then I have studied this verse with a few friends, and recently a friend told me a specific vision dealing with this verse. I there’s more to the story than my original post, and rightly so, as this blog is a journey of the heart and mind of God of which the end I have not arrived.
Let’s see the text again, this time in the ESV:

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews,Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20:19-23

Jesus is cool. I think he’s the only guy that could have disciples following him with high expectations, die on a cross leaving them scared poop-less and then come back and start saying weird stuff that seems to contradict what he’s been telling them for the last 3 years and somehow still have followers 2,000 years later. When I studied this out with Seth we came to a pretty cool conclusion. While writing this I’ll try to work a different angle on the same material. Please be patient if I’m redundant.
Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to his disciples in verse 22. This is important to remember when reading verse 23. Often times we separate Jesus’ teachings and try to make sense of each one when really they work together to achieve a bigger truth than can be conveyed with one teaching. I’m thinking specifically of parables, but the same is true for everything else, including this verse. When Jesus says “recieve the Holy Spirit” and then says “if you…” The “you” he’s speaking to is one full of the Holy Spirit. This means that when full of the Holy Spirit (divine discernment) one has authority over reconciliation.
What should also be noted is that forgiveness is contional. A good question is what is the condition for forgiveness. I can try to answer, and probably will soon, but I will for the sake of this post say that if the Holy Spirit is working within a person, the divine discernment of the Spiritual will reveal the state of the soul of the person in question.
I would like to reference Young’s literal translation, again: “if of any ye may loose the sins, they are loosed to them; if of any ye may retain, they have been retained.” In my experience reading a tricky verse in a literal translation in sentence structure and words I am not well versed in helps me to understand the meaning of the scripture. Reading the Young’s translation for me, emphasizes the sin as being forgiven or not forgiven and not the person. My commentary would read like this: “If of any ye may loose the sins, the sins are loosed to them; if of any ye may retain the sins, the sins are retained.” I’m not quite sure how this is significant but I feel that it is. Perhaps it separates the sins from the person, that they sins are not the person- though they have been retained. It makes the person redeemable, even though the sins are irredeemable.

In conclusion, as much as from The Disciples Became Apostles pt 1 I realized that being ‘sent’ by Jesus meant carrying the weight of His message, and the responsibility of being a good steward of the gospel thereby making forgiveness from Jesus alone and only extended to the world though the apostles, I have now realized that being ‘sent’ with the Holy Spirit places all the more responsibility on the apostle to be a good stewared of the gospel, and the responsibility of forgiving resting the divine Spirit of God. I think I just wrote a runon that rivals Paul.
Thanks for reading, share your thoughts.

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