John 20 : 19 - 22, Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 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. NKJV
Sharing this scripture is like watching the final scene from a movie first. We know how it ends, but what has transpired up to this point? Go with me back in time to about forty-two months before Jesus began His earthly ministry, and before He called each of these men, who gathered in this room because they were afraid of the Jews, to be His disciples.
As we’re reading through the gospels, we can watch the spiritual growth of the disciples and even see glimpses of strong faith. If you have ever lost a job or stepped out in faith to begin a new career, you can relate to the faith and courage it must have taken for these men to leave their occupations and their families to follow Christ when He called them into the ministry.
It was as if they had no doubts about Jesus’ call; they all decided to leave their old lives behind. Nevertheless, there are far more occasions that we can read in the gospels where the disciples became fearful, worried, or hardened their hearts because they found themselves in adverse circumstances. At one moment, Peter was walking on water; however, in the next moment this professional fisherman, who could swim, was about to drown and was consumed with fear.
There was a man who brought his son to the disciples and asked them to heal the boy because he had a tormenting spirit. The disciples tried to set the boy free, but failed. I’m sure they struggled at times with thoughts and feelings of frustration and failure when they tried doing all that Jesus did; nonetheless, their efforts fell short of the set goal.
Over the years, I’ve wondered why the disciples seemed to be on an emotional roller coaster. Some days they were strong men of faith, and other days Jesus had to rebuke them for their unbelief and teach them about the error of their ways. Recently, the Lord showed me why the disciples seemed to be double-minded at times.
The disciples did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in their spirit. All they had was their faith in Jesus, and their faith wavered from time to time. I share this with you today to let you know how vitally important it is for believers in Christ to rely completely upon the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we don’t vacillate from one day to the next in our faith walk.
The Holy Spirit gives us power to become children of God and to live the “life of Christ” daily. He gives us power to do what Jesus did while He walked on the earth. Jesus said that we (the body of Christ) would do greater works than He. After Jesus breathed on the disciples and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit, we never read of any of them denying Jesus again. We don’t see them fail Jesus or bring shame to His name any more after they received the Spirit of God in their lives.
If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, then you have the Holy Spirit living within your spirit as well. Now, you have the power to become all that God has called you to be and to do in Christ. It’s time for the church to come out of hiding because of the fear of man and to receive a fresh breath from the Holy Spirit of God. We need to be about our Father’s business, instead of worrying about upsetting the religious world. There is a world that is dying without Christ, and they need to see us (Jesus’ disciples) walking in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s Reach this World for Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery