Responding to His breath

NEXT Family

Happy thanksgiving to all of you. I hope this week is filled with good memories of time spent with family. What a week to sit and think about all of the things that you are thankful for. If you are reading this then you have something to be thankful for. My challenge to you this week is to write out everything you are thankful for and to declare it back to the Lord. Praying for you all this week as you are on break. Enjoy some good time off and get some rest! Much love and grace to all of you

– Travis Horner


Take a listen to this weeks podcast. (Press play)

You can follow along with my teaching notes below.

Teaching Notes

I would love to submit a simple reality that it is possible to know God (to even receive the breath of God),  but not be moved and activated by his breath.

I would love to take us through a fairly dramatic scene this morning. As we read scripture, I want you to imagine with me what it would have felt like to be a disciple of Jesus in this setting.

John 20

19 That evening, the disciples gathered together. And because they were afraid of reprisals from the Jewish leaders, they had locked the doors to the place where they met.

Things to consider in this story: 

Mary Magdalene, Peter, and another disciple have already seen the empty tomb. (John 20:3) In fact Jesus has already appeared and spoken to Mary Magdalene. He also told her to go and tell the disciples what she has witnesses and she did (John 20:18).

The last time that most of the disciples had seen Jesus was 2 days ago (on Friday). They didn’t go to his trial, beating, or crucifixion. We can speculate that most of them have been hiding in fear that Jewish leaders would come after them as well.

They are currently being blamed for steeling the body of Jesus while the guards were sleeping (Mathew 28:13)

I want us to imagine what it would have felt like that evening:

What was the conversation like in the room (fear, sadness, anger, confusion, doubt, stress, etc…)?

Was somebody blaming someone for actually steeling the body of Jesus and telling them to confess?

Was someone constantly checking the window to make sure nobody was sneaking up on them?

Were they blaming each other for what they DIDN”T do to protect their friend from death?

Did they all double and triple check that the door was locked? Did they place things in front of the door incase someone tried to break it down?

We can absolutely conclude that whatever feeling each disciple had, it was intense and it did not feel good.

But suddenly Jesus appeared among them and said, “Peace to you!”

An extremely normal thing for someone to say in a greeting culturally.

It’s like someone walking into a room today and saying “hey whats up guy’s”.

20 Then he showed them the wounds of his hands and his side—they were overjoyed to see the Lord with their own eyes!

Could it be that Jesus is modeling for us the idea that the wounds we have experienced in life can actually bring truth and healing to other people?

Just a thought, His physical wounds were bringing relief and healing. Could it be the same for you and I? 

21 Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you!” And he told them, “Just as the Father has sent me, I’m now sending you.” 22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit

22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew on them

emphysáō – to blow or breathe upon

This word is only used twice in the bible. Once in the story we are in and once in Gen 2:7 where God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul.

Clearly something very unique is happening here with Jesus and his disciples.

23 I send you to preach the forgiveness of sins—and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”

In simpler terms, Jesus is saying “If you don’t do anything with what you just received, other people aren’t going to be able to experience it.

Our response to His breath is no longer a matter of you and I receiving life for ourselves, but rather a proclamation for other people to be set free.

People around us are relying on how we respond the the breath of God inside of us.

I think this has little to do with church on Sunday:

He was sending them OUT into the world (Grocery stores, schools, restaurants, businesses, gyms, sporting events, etc…) 

24 One of the twelve wasn’t present when Jesus appeared to them—it was Thomas, whose nickname was “the Twin.” 25 So the disciples informed him, “We have seen the Lord with our own eyes!” Still unconvinced, Thomas replied, “There’s no way I’m going to believe this unless I personally see the wounds of the nails in his hands, touch them with my finger, and put my hand into the wound of his side where he was pierced!”

Thomas had a desire to see Jesus with his own eyes before he would believe.

26 Then eight days later, Thomas and all the others were in the house together. And even though all the doors were locked, Jesus suddenly stood before them! Peace to you,” he said.

Lets look at the text:

The disciples had just received the breath of God and the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked them to go proclaim it to other people and eight days later we find them in the same spot.

Locked up in fear from the world around them.

Could I suggest that the breath of God inside of you was never meant to be hoarded for yourself.

The moment we become a people who do not respond to the Holy Spirit inside of us we become spiritually obese christians and the world around us suffers because of it. 

My hand is the highest when I ask if anyone can relate to this. The only reason I am teaching this is because God is dealing with me in this area.

Western culture has made life revolve around me, me and me. When you sign up to to receive the breath of God it is no longer about you.

27 Then, looking into Thomas’ eyes, he said, “Put your finger here in the wounds of my hands. Here—put your hand into my wounded side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!”

Thomas was forever changed that day because Jesus was willing to show him his hurt, pain, and the life that he purchased for him.

There are people that are waiting for you to unlock them with your story and with the breath of God inside of you.

“But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”

Your story doesn’t have to look pretty, but when we receive the breath of God, it matters to other in how we respond to it.

Can I invite you today to breathe in, receive His breath and then GO PROCLAIM it to others. Share your life, and your story, and the breath of God with others.


Join us this Sunday, November 25th at 11:45am in the office for NEXT.

Dustin Scott will be teaching and he has something truly incredible to share with you.

Come for breakfast, coffee, worship, scripture and some good people.

Love you guys!

Travis Horner 

Student Ministries Pastor | Vintage City Church