CHRIST RETURNING AS THE SPIRIT
Suddenly Jesus was standing among them and saying, “Peace be to you”! His words were few, but He breathed into them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). His words could also be translated, “Receive the holy breath.” A few more words, and He was gone. He came in without anyone’s opening the door; He left without saying good-by. It was not that He went away. Rather, He entered into them as the holy breath. From then on, wherever the disciples were, Jesus was also there. He was within them! Here is Christ in resurrection becoming the indwelling Spirit.
The Gospel of John tells us this wonderful, mysterious story. This is his mending ministry. Perhaps no other book in the Bible portrays Christ in such a living yet spiritual way.
On a later occasion (John 21:2-13) Peter, probably hungry and short of food, said to the others with him, “I am going fishing.” Since he was taking the lead, the rest said they would go with him. Not one fish did they catch the whole night. Nonetheless, Christ was there! At first they did not recognize Him when He spoke to them, but when they followed what He said, they caught fish in abundance. Back on land, they saw that the Lord had prepared fish and bread for them. The fish was there, already cooked. It had not been necessary for them to go to the sea. All the fish were in His hand. Not one would go into their net. If they needed fish, they had only to tell Him; He would provide them not only with fish but also with bread. They could disregard all the fish they had caught and come and eat what the Lord had prepared for them.
We can all be assured that this Christ is within us. Wherever we go, He is within. When we are happy with Him, attending the meetings, praying, and pray-reading, we may not have a strong sense that He is within. But if we go against Him, He will appear to us in a strong way. If we go to a movie or to a gambling casino, He will speak to us from within, “What are you doing here?” Our Lord is real, living, present, and within. We do not have a religion. What need have we for a religion? We have the living Christ! He is what we need and what we have.
John’s mending ministry strongly stresses this point that Christ lives in us (14:17, 23; 15:4-5). He is real, living, and powerful, yet kind, loving, and patient. We must not think that if we offend Him, He will leave. The more we offend Him, the more He will convince us that He will never leave!
John first introduces Jesus as God. Eventually He tells us that this very One is now in us. He is the embodiment of the Father (14:8-11), He is the Son, and in resurrection He has become the indwelling Spirit. With Him we have the Triune God. He is our life.
(The Mending Ministry of John, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)