Q: Jesus breathes on the disciples (John 20:22) and they receive the Holy Spirit. Seems like the creation account when God breathed life into Adam. It seems like a picture of we’re dead in our sins, but when forgiven because of the cross, we receive new, abundant, eternal life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Why does John 20:23 seem to imply Jesus also confers power to forgive sins to the disciples. Only God can forgive. Jesus spends the first 17 chapters building the narrative of His oneness with the Father in all the I AM statements. What is the point of conferring the power to forgive sins in v23? This seems out of place given all Jesus does to secure our forgiveness by dying on the cross and rising again.
How should we think about this?
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” – John 20:22-23
Genesis 2:7 – Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living person.
Genesis 2:7, Acts 2, Jeremiah 31:34, Matthew 26
For more episodes of Ask Dr. E, click here.
Call or text us your question at 615-281-9694 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.