Studies In The Book Of John


John 20:11-23


John 20:11-18 “(11) But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, (12) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.  (13) And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.  (14) And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.  (15) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.  (16) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.  (17) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.  (18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”


A. The angels appeared at the grave of Jesus as Mary wept (Matthew 28:2-7, Mark 16:2-8, and Luke 24:3-7).

1. Angels are certainly capable of providing comfort (Matthew 4:11 and Hebrews 1:13-14).

2. Jesus had foretold His disciples that they’d weep and lament (John 16:20).

3. Again, as we saw earlier in this chapter (John 20:1-2), there was fear that Jesus’ body had been stolen.

B. She didn’t realize the presence of Jesus (cf. John 21:4).

1. It could be that He didn’t want her to notice Him (Luke 24:16).

2. It could also be that He didn’t appear in a knowable form (Mark 16:12).

C. Jesus had not yet ascended to the Father as He had only gone to Paradise (Luke 23:39-45) in Hades (Acts 2:23-31).

1. He will eventually allow physical contact to occur (Matthew 28:9 and John 20:27).

2. His ascension was still in the future at this time (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:49-51, and Acts 1:9-11).


John 20:19-21 “(19) 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, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  (20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.  (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”


A. Jesus came unto the disciples and extended peace to them (Luke 24:36 and John 14:27).

1. His extension of peace upon them does say something good about them (Matthew 10:13).

a. Jesus wanted the disciples to be at peace (John 16:33).

b. The same word translated peace here (“eirēnē”; Strong’s # 1515) is translated as “rest” in Acts 9:31.  Herein we have a biblical definition of what Jesus was extending upon this assembly of His disciples.

2. They needed peace as they were hiding in fear of the Jews (I Thessalonians 2:11-16) and will be amongst wolves from here forward (Matthew 10:16).

3. As Jesus foretold them, when they saw Him they were glad (John 16:21-22).

B. When Jesus met with the disciples, at this time; there was more than peace that He extended to them (Mark 16:14-18).

1. Jesus is sending them forth as His Father had sent Him into the world (John 17:18-19; cf. II Timothy 2:1-2).

2. They were expected to carry the Gospel to the entire world (Luke 24:47).


John 20:22-23 “(22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”


A. Jesus breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Ghost (John 7:39).

1. If you do a word study on the Greek word translated “breathed” (emphusaō; Strong’s # 1720) in John 20:22, you’ll find that this is the only time it appears in the Scriptures.  Thus, you’ll not find clarity through a word study.

2. Using some deductive reasoning, we can find some clarity on this verse.

a. The promise of “power from on high” was supposed to come after Jesus ascended to Heaven (Luke 24:49-53).

b. The disciples did not receive the Holy Spirit prior to Jesus ascending to Heaven (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).

c. The Spirit was to come from the Father, not from Jesus (John 14:26).

d. Thus, whatever did happen here, it was not the promise of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was fulfilling.

B. Jesus told His disciples that they would have the power of the remission of sins in their hands (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:15-20).

1. Lest we get confused here, let’s remember that we too have this authority to a certain degree (I Corinthians 5:1-13).

a. In all things, the Apostles then and us now, must act in accordance with the will of our Lord (Colossians 3:17).

b. Our forgiveness of sins must be patterned after the Lord’s forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 4:31-32 and Colossians 3:13).

i. Forgiveness of sins is conditional (Acts 26:18-20 and I John 1:9).

ii. Our forgiveness must therefore be conditional too (Luke 17:3-4).

2. Through the preaching of the Gospel, we also have an effect on people receiving the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38).





Back To Index Of Studies In John


© 2012 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain.  Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful!   Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies.  Getting financially supported to do the Lord’s work while allowing others to do it for you is simply theft!  – Brian A. Yeager