Taking the Spirit



Truth in Love

Taking the Holy Spirit with you


In Greek, 'Take' and 'Receive' are the same word

see Greek Language Study


John 20:19-25a

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them (sighed) and said, “Receive (Take) the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”


Luke 24:36-49

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “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.

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.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 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 24:50-53

The Ascension of Jesus

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.


Acts 1:1-5

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.


Acts 2:1-6

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.


John 7:39

By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.


John 16:7

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.


John 1:12

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--


Matthew 16:19

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."


In John 20:22, Jesus tells the disciples to 'take' the Holy Spirit with them.

Jesus also breathed out (sighed) before he said this.

The Greek word translated 'breath' in this verse only appears once in the New Testament in any parse (tense).

It is not the same word as 'to breath' that often used in the New Testament.

It is hard to find this word in some Greek Lexicons as it is quite unusual.

It means 'to exhale' (eg when playing a musical instument) or in this case 'to sigh'.


In John 20:19-25a, Jesus appears to the disciples on the first day of the week and says "peace be unto you, as the Father sent me, I am sending you. Sigh.... Take the Holy Spirit. Whoever you forgive, I will forgive and whoever you don't forgive, I will not forgive either. This is a statement of the Great Commission. When the disciples found Thomas (v24-25), they told Thomas "We have seen the Lord". They did not tell Thomas "we have received the Spirit".


A similar account can be found in Luke 24:36-49

Lukes account was written much earlier than John's and is continued in the book of Acts which is also written by Luke. Lukes account indicates that Jesus shared a meal with the disciples. The disciples were uncertain if they could do what Jesus was asking them to do. Luke concludes by telling the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they 'receive power form on high'.


John, writing some time after Luke adds some missing details. Jesus wanted the disciples to take the Gospel to the Nations. He would forgive whoever they forgave. After all, Jesus had previously given Peter the "keys to the Kingdom". (Matthew 16:19)

As the disciples were unsure, even doubting, Jesus sighed and told them to 'take' the Holy Spirit with them for support.


The disciples had to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Baptim or filling of the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost). (Luke 24:49 Acts 1:4-5)

Jesus had to go before the Holy Spirit could be poured out (John 16:7)

The Holy Spirit was to be given to those who believed after Jesus had been glorified. (John 7:39)

The disciples, while they may have been circumcised by the Spirit, they were not Baptized or filled with the Spirit until after Jesus left them.

Receiving the Spirit is how we become a child of God (John 1:12)

Tongues are a sign that the disciples had received and were filled with the Spirit. Prophesy is also a sign of being filled with the Spirit. Nobody can say Jesus is Lord except by the Spirit. Hence, confession that 'Jesus is Lord' is also a sign of having the Spirit.

Joel prophesied that in the last days, the Spirit would be 'poured out' on all men (not just Jews). Acts 2 was just Jews but the Gentiles soon followed in Acts 8 and Acts 10.


see Baptism with the Spirit

see Being Filled with the Spirit

see Regeneration Rebirth (Born Again)

see Circumcision by the Spirit