Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Jesus breathed on His disciples

 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:22)
When I read this verse, because I believe that the Holy Ghost is given by the priesthood ordinance of laying on of hands, I do not see Jesus literally breathing on His disciples.  However, I think it is worth looking at these verses to see what the purpose might be for saying Jesus breathed on them.

I think there was a teaching purpose for it.  When I think about why John might have wanted to use this idea of breathing, the thing that comes to my mind is a phrase “the breath of life” from Genesis 2:7:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
I think breath was associated with life and John wanted to teach that when Jesus told them to receive the Holy Ghost, He gave them a portion of spiritual life in a way they hadn’t experienced before or thought possible, and the only way to express what it was life was to compare it to receiving breath. 

 I have to echo that.  When I receive the Holy Ghost, it does fill me with life, and it seems to throw over my perception a hopeful optimism that I would hate to be without.  It's like seeing the world in color when you're used to seeing in black-and-white.

What is it like for you?


Ramona Gordy said...

This is an intriguing post, and I have been looking at it for a week now,absorbing everything that is written and implied at the same time.In verse 21:
"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

Note that before Jesus laid hands upon them, He imparted His Peace,(Not the world's peace) which in this context means "to restore". Almost like a body, mind and spirit restoration or preparation, so that as Jesus "confer's" the Holy Spirit upon his Disciples, they will "be" as He is, so that they can do all the things that they have seen him do.(When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, He conforms to our body, and in effect, causes a change in the inner man, that manifest in the outward).

I have often wondered if they received a "fullness" of their confirmation, because, there wasn't going to be much time to "grow up" into the Spirit by grace. So they needed a mega pack so to speak.
I found 2 verses that have the same idea:
2 Timothy 1:6 wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou "stir up the gift of God," which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

Alma 31:36 now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all of them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.