What Jesus Did! 'The Spirit's Power to Forgive' — John 20:22-23

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

After Jesus said that, he breathed {on the followers}. Jesus said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people's sins, then their sins are forgiven. If you don't forgive people's sins, then their sins are not forgiven."
— John 20:22-23 NLT
Illustration of John 20:22-23 NLT — "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people's sins, then their sins are forgiven. If you don't forgive people's sins, then their sins are not forgiven."

Key Thought

Jesus ties personal forgiveness of others to our own forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer. Here, he reminds us that the Holy Spirit was crucial in giving the gift of forgiveness in church setting. Clearly part of the work of the Spirit in this context is discernment and authority to forgive as God's community. However, the Spirit, who forms Christ in us and brings to maturity spiritual fruit in us, is crucial in our power to forgive. So our prayer probably should be that the Lord continue to fill us, to guide us, to lead us, and to transform us by his Spirit so that we can truly be his agents of redemption, reconciliation, and grace.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, glorious and mighty, please forgive my sins as I am forgiving the sins of those who have wronged me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 18:21-22
  • Ephesians 4:29-32
  • Matthew 6:14-15

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.