Summary: A confused and fearful group of disciples needed more than anything a word of confidence from someone who could give them back the security that had been taken from them at the cross.
It was resurrection evening: the disciples were unorganized (Judas was dead; Thomas was gone; Peter was humiliated; and all were distraught).
They were hiding in fear, doors were shut and locked, and there was no leadership or boldness among them. (Christ was absent)
They needed a word. They needed to hear something that would shore up a crumbling confidence. (At the perfect time, Jesus showed up and spoke)
I. A Word of COMFORT v.19
A. Unusual words - peace in the middle of this chaos?
B. Understandable words – they had known peace with Jesus.
C. Undeniable words – Each time Jesus spoke these words, chaos ceased.
II. A Word of PROOF (He shewed unto them his hands and side) v.20
A. Unusual entry – “through the door,” not “by way of” the door.
B. Unusual credentials – “battle scars” – (the nail and spear markings)
C. Joyous affirmation – “then were the disciples glad”
III. A Word of INSTRUCTION “even so I send you” v. 21
A. Jesus had sent them out before (2 by 2 with no extra money or clothes).
B. He was sending them again – take everything you need (even a sword)
C. The rise or fall of Christianity would be in the hands of the disciples.
IV. A Word of CONFIDENCE – “receive ye the Holy Ghost” v. 22
A. Jesus did not forsake them – he arose and returned.
B. He had trained them well – “you will do greater things than I have done”
C. He empowered them with the Holy Spirit – (“he breathed on them”)
D. God’s will, Jesus’ training, Holy Ghost power, and their determination equipped them to propagate the world with His gospel and to lay down their lives for a truth that would last an eternity.