[6] How does ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ differ from the ‘filling’?

Table of Contents for: How does ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ differ from the ‘filling’?

What Jesus said and did after his resurrection

After Jesus was raised from the dead, He appeared to his followers over a period of forty days.
I would say that anything Jesus did and said in that time would be immensely important.
Jesus did these things, but not necessarily in this exact order:

  • He spoke to Mary Magdalene near the grave; John 20:14 (plus another Mary in Matthew 28:8)
  • Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. Mark 16:12 Also see Luke 24:13-35 on the road to Emmaus.
  • That evening Jesus appeared to the disciples and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ John 20:19
  • Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith Mark 16:14
  • Jesus said: ‘It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ Luke 24:39
  • He showed them his nail wounds in his feet and hands
  • Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ John 20:21
  • “He breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ ” John 20:22
  • Jesus said: ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. Luke 24:41-43
  • He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Luke 24:44
  • Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45
  • He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ Luke 24:46-49
  • Jesus told them to go to a mountain in Galilee and he said to them ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit , and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:17
  • He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on people who are ill, and they will get well.’ Mark 16:15-18
  • He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Luke 24:50-51

Receive the Holy Spirit

So we will look at this verse:

He breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ “

John 20:22
Jesus breathing out. "Receive the Holy Spirit." How does 'Receive the Holy Spirit' differ from the 'filling'?
Jesus breathing out. “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

How does this breathing of the Holy Spirit differ from the disciple’s filling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?

When Jesus breathed the Spirit onto them, this was Jesus giving the breath of life to His Body – the church.

This is comparable to what happened to Adam after he had been formed from the dust of the earth.

the Lord God .. breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”

Genesis 2:7
God creating Eve from Adam's rib. How does 'Receive the Holy Spirit' differ from the 'filling'?
God creating Eve from Adam’s rib picture dated 1390 [i]

Baptised by the Spirit into the Body of Christ:

Jesus breathed on them as one body and they became a living church.
This breath of the Holy Spirit is spoken of in Corinthians:

For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

1 Corinthians 12:13

This verse appears to not be talking about the baptism of the Spirit to give power, but the Spirit baptising us into the church so that we become the living Body of Christ on the earth.

[i] Photo credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

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