Lesson 104: John 20:19-23 – Who’s That At the Door?

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 104 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



The apostles didn’t meet to decide what to do now that the Lord had risen, for they didn’t believe the reports (Mark 16:14)! They met to discuss if the reports were true, a type of Jews in the Tribulation. After the Bible proves the Bible was right about the Rapture, they will meet to discuss if it might be right that Christ rose as well, and was their Messiah. Unsaved Jews won’t approve of such meetings so they’ll have to be done in secret, as pictured here.

First the apostles feared the Jews, then they feared the Lord (Lu.24:33-37), another type of Tribulation Jews. Once they decide Jesus was their Messiah, they’ll fear His wrath. That was Peter’s message at Pentecost, he blamed them for the crucifixion and threatened them with the resurrection!

You’d think that after they all forsook Him and Peter denied Him that the Lord would say “Shame on you,” but instead He said “Peace be to you” (v.19). If you’re beating yourself up about failing the Lord in the past, you’re the only one beating yourself up about it!

Remember we quoted Psalm 85:4-7 to prove that Mary was a type of Israel turning to the Lord in the Tribulation? Verse 8 says that after they turn to the Lord He’ll speak “peace” to them, as Mary pictures. He couldn’t offer peace till He left them (John 14:25-27), but once He died for them and left, “righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps.85:10). Until the cross, righteoussness and peace were at war with each other! Of course, the Lord didn’t explain how He could offer them peace; that wasn’t revealed until Paul. But the cross is still the thing that allowed Him to offer it, and offer peace in the kingdom (Isa.32:17).

Don’t forget, the apostles were heading into the Tribulation that would have come had the dispensation of grace not interrupted prophecy. Antichrist will be saying “peace” (IThes.5:3) in order to get the kingdom (Dan.11:21). Talk about the kind of peace the world offers (John 14:27)!

The Lord showed them His wounds after He had “so said”

that business about “peace” to show us how He could offer them peace. He didn’t explain this to them, but looking back now we can see what He was doing. He also insisted they “handle” Him (Lu.24:36-39) because after Antichrist realizes he can’t offer peace without righteousness he’ll die and rise (Rev.13:1-3) and claim he died for their sins. To do that he’ll have to claim Jesus was a myth who couldn’t have died for their sins, so the Lord made sure His witnesses saw and handled Him (I John 1:1), and could testify He was a real risen man with real wounds.

His resurrection body will retain His wounds to show to Israel (Zech.12:10), not to shame them, but to lead them to be saved (13:1). He will also retain His wounds because of all the things God has done, the Cross brings Him the most glory, and that glory will never be forgotten. Will we bear our wounds in eternity? The Lord could lose His when He wanted, or the two on Emmaus road would have recognized Him. We’ll be able to also (Phil.3:21). Some commentaries say the Lord will have to point to His wounds to intercede for us (Rom.8:34), but the Father’s memory is not so short that He’ll need reminding. If anything, His wounds will make it so we never forget what He did for us.

Did they receive the Spirit then (John 20:22) or at Pentecost (Acts 2:4)? They couldn’t receive Him till He was given, and till the Lord was glorified (John 7:39), and He couldn’t be glorified like John 17:5 until He sat at the Father’s right hand in heaven. When men received the Spirit, they showed the same evidence that the 12 did at Pentecost (Acts 10:46,47).

More proof is seen when the Lord breathed on them. He breathed life into the creatures of His old creation (Gen.2:7; Ps.33:6), and didn’t begin to breathe life into the creatures of His new creation until Pentecost.

Did the Lord give them the power to remit sins? This is John’s version of the Great Commission (“so send I you,” John 20:21), so we interpret this that they had the power to remit sins when they preached remission of sins (Lu.24:47-49; Acts 2:38).

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