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The Golden Commission

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Jesus commissions His disciples and through them the church to bear witness to the Resurrection.

Text: John 20:19-23
Date: 08/16/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 190

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In the third story of John's Resurrection narrative, Jesus appears to the disciples and shows them His wounds. After greeting them with an address steeped in redemptive imagery, He proceeds to commission them to bear witness of His Resurrection. John's focus momentarily switches from the importance of personal belief in the Resurrection to the central task of the church-- to bear witness of the Risen Christ. We will look closely at the wording and nature of the Commission and "solve" some difficult issues in the text. We will recognize the relentless flow of the Gospel from the mind and heart of God through a golden thread of "apostlers" to the unregenerate elect in the darkness of this world. We will ultimately emphasize God's Providence, sovereignty and resoluteness in this process and consider the consequences to individuals, churches, denominations, countries and people-groups who impede or ignore His Golden Commission.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 20:19-23.
A. Context
1. The focus on belief.
a. John and the empty tomb.
b. Mary and her mistaken Lord.
2. The focus on mission, John 20:7,18.
B. Revealing the Golden Commission.
1. Jesus appears to the disciples, vs. 19.
a. The "who, what, when, where, and why" of the encounter.
i. The "who" of the encounter.
ii. The "what" of the encounter.
iii. The "when" of the encounter.
• Determining the day.
• Determining the hour, Luke 24:29,33,36.
iv. The "where" of the encounter, Acts 1:13, 12:12.
v. The "why" of the encounter.
• Why they were gathered.
• Why the door was locked.
b. A sudden appearance.
i. Reflections on Jesus' body, Luke 24:36-37.
• How Jesus DID NOT appear.
• A different kind of body, John 20:26, Phil. 3:20-21.
• A fully human body.
ii. A meaningful greeting.
• A common Hebrew greeting.
• The meaning of "peace", John 14:27, 16:33.
• The announcement of redemption, Johon 19:30.
2. Verifying His identity, vs. 20.
a. The ever-present wounds of the Crucifixion.
i. Proof of a real body.
ii. Dispelling the "look-a-like" theory.
iii. Preparing for Thomas.
iv. A reminder of the Crucifixion, Rev. 5:6.
b. The disciples' "crystalline moment", John 15:3.
3. The Golden Commission, vs. 21.
a. Repeating the announcement of redemption.
i. John's tendency of repetition.
ii. Focus on the mission of the church, John 16:33, Matt. 5:9.
b. The Gospel Commission.
i. The "Apostler from heaven".
• The relationship with the Father, John 15:9.
• The unique task of the Son, Heb. 1:3.
ii. The continuation of the mission, John 17:18.
• A consistent theme of the Gospels, Matt. 11:27, John 13:20.
• The message of the Commission.
• Beyond the Apostles, John 17:20.
4. Receiving the Spirit, vs. 22.
a. Looking at the language.
i. Looking at the translation.
ii. Old Testament usage, Gen. 2:7, Ezek. 37:9.
b. Drawing Conclusions.
5. The power of the Gospel, vs. 23, Matt. 16:19, 18:18.
a. Looking at the grammar.
b. Focus on evangelism.
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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