Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:21

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Salutations;   Thompson Chain Reference - Aim in Life;   Dead, the;   Mission;   Mortality-Immortality;   Peace Invoked;   Resurrection;   The Topic Concordance - Sending and Those Sent;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the Head of the Church;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Thomas;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Mission;   Peace;   Remnant;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Apostle;   Great Commission, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Apostle;   Resurrection of Christ;   Sabbath;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Apostle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Church;   Disciples;   History;   Hour;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   John, the Gospel of;   Keys of the Kingdom;   Lord's Day;   Mission(s);   Salutation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Atonement;   John, Gospel of;   Thomas;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Absolution;   Attributes of Christ;   Breathing;   Character;   Church (2);   Commission;   Consolation;   Discourse;   Elect, Election ;   Example;   Gospels (2);   Lord's Supper (Ii);   Manuscripts;   Messenger;   Missions;   Peace;   Peace (2);   Son of God;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baptism;   Thomas ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Episcopalians;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Armenian Versions of the Bible;   Body, Spiritual;   Greeting;   Keys, Power of;   Ordain;   Papyrus;   Peace;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Apostle;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 19;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Even so send I you - As I was sent to proclaim the truth of the Most High, and to convert sinners to God, I send you for the very same purpose, clothed with the very same authority, and influenced by the very same Spirit.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As my Father hath sent me - As God sent me to preach, to be persecuted, and to suffer; to make known his will, and to offer pardon to men, so I send you. This is the design and the extent of the commission of the ministers of the Lord Jesus. He is their model; and they will be successful only as they study his character and imitate his example. This commission he proceeds to confirm by endowing them all with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be with you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Peace be unto you ... By this repetition Jesus brought them back to their responsibilities, which they had tended to forget during the previous sorrowful days.

So send I you ... This has all the force of the great commission. As God had sent Jesus, so he sent them. In these words, John went back to that first intimate, overwhelmingly impressive moment when the Christ moved tenderly to bring his wayward disciples back to a full realization of their duty. This was the moment, above all others, that motivated them in carrying out the formal pronouncements of the great commission enunciated later.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then said Jesus to them again,.... The words he said before:

peace be unto you; which he repeated, to put them out of their fright, by reason of which they returned him no answer; and to raise and engage their attention to what he was about to say; and to pacify their consciences, distressed with a sense of their conduct towards him; and with a view to the Gospel of peace, he was now going to send them to preach:

as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; Christ's mission of his disciples, supposes power in him, honour done to them, authority put upon them, qualifications given them, and hence success attended them; what they were sent to do, was to preach the Gospel, convert sinners, build up saints, plant churches, and administer ordinances. The pattern of their mission, is the mission of Christ by his Father, which was into this world, to do his will, preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal redemption for his people; and which mission does not suppose inferiority in his divine person, nor change of place, but harmony and agreement between the Father and Son: the likeness of these missions lies in these things; their authority is both divine; they are both sent into the same place, the world; and in much the same condition, mean, despicable, hated and persecuted; and in part for the same end, to preach the Gospel, and work miracles, for the confirmation of it; but not to obtain redemption, that being a work done solely by Christ; in which he has no partner, and to whom the glory must be only ascribed.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 20:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Then said Jesus — prepared now to listen to Him in a new character.

Peace be unto you. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you — (See on John 17:18).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. This is the Great Commission, more fully developed in Galilee a little later, and finally completed on Mt. Olivet, just before the Lord ascended. The Lord had trained the apostles for three years in order to fit them for this important work.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 20:21". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-20.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Even so send I you (καγω πεμπω υμαςkagō pempō humas). Jesus has often spoken of the Father‘s sending him using both αποστελλωapostellō and πεμπωpempō Here he employs both words in practically the same sense. Jesus still bears the Commission of the Father (perfect active indicative). For this balanced contention (as  …  so) see John 6:57; John 10:15. This is the first of the three commissions given by the Risen Christ (another on the mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20; 1 Corinthians 15:6), another on the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:44-51; Acts 1:3-11).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Hath sent ( ἀπέσταλκεν )

Note the distinction between this verb and that applied to the sending of the disciples ( πέμπω ). See on John 1:6.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Peace be unto you — This is the foundation of the mission of a true Gospel minister, peace in his own soul, 2 Corinthians 4:1.

As the Father hath sent me, so send I you — Christ was the apostle of the Father, Hebrews 3:1. Peter and the rest, the apostles of Christ.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace [be] unto you1: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

  1. Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace [be] unto you. Now that the apostles knew their Master, he repeats his blessing (John 20:19).

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:21". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Again; after supping with them. (Luke 24:41.)

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-20.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Сказал им вторично. Это второе приветствие, думаю, означает то же самое. Разве что Господь хотел еще больше привлечь их внимание, как того требовала важность Его предстоящей речи.

Как послал Меня Отец. Этими словами Христос неким образом поставляет апостолов на служение, предназначенное им прежде. До этого они ходили по Иудее, но только как глашатаи, повелевающие слушаться главного Учителя, а не как апостолы, обладающие постоянным учительским служением. Теперь же Господь делает их Своими представителями, дабы они созидали в мире Его царство. Пусть же останется незыблемым: апостолы только в этом момент стали обычными евангельскими служителями. Христос как бы говорит: до этого Он исполнял служение Учителя, но, завершив земную жизнь, предает это служение им. Он имеет в виду, что Отец с той целью поставил Его Учителем Церкви, дабы временно главенствовать, а затем поставить вместо Себя тех, кто заместил бы Его в Его отсутствие. По этой же причине Павел (Еф.4:11) говорит, что одних Он поставил апостолами, других Евангелистами, а третьих пастырями, которым предстоит до конца мира управлять Его Церковью. Итак, Христос свидетельствует о том, что, хотя Сам Он лишь временно исполнял служение Учителя, проповедь Евангелия будет продолжаться вечно. Кроме того, дабы авторитет учения апостолов не стали преуменьшать, Он приказывает им заступить на то же служение, которое Сам принял от Отца. Он присваивает им ту же функцию и те же самые права. Ибо так и надлежало санкционировать их служение, поскольку раньше они были темными и невежественными. Кроме того, мы знаем, обладай они любым достоинством и величием, все человеческое все равно не достойно веры.

Посему Христос не без причины сообщает апостолам авторитет, полученный Им от Отца, дабы объявить таким образом: проповедь вверена им не человеческим, но божественным повелением. Кроме того, поставляя их на Свое место, Он Сам не отказывается от верховного учительства. Ибо Отец восхотел, чтобы оно пребывало лишь у Него. Итак, Христос остается и вовеки останется единственным Учителем Церкви, но разница лишь в том, что, будучи на земле, Он говорил Своими устами, а теперь говорит устами апостолов. Таково то преемство, которое ничего не отнимает у Христа, но целиком сохраняет Его права и достоинство. Ибо неизменно установление, повелевающее нам слушаться Его, а не других (Мф.17:5). В итоге: Христос хотел превознести не людей, но евангельское учение. Кроме того, надо отметить, что здесь идет речь только о проповеди Евангелия. Ибо Христос не послал апостолов для умилостивления грехов мира и обретения миру праведности, как Сам был послан Отцом. Обо всем, что относится только ко Христу, здесь речи не идет. Христос поставил только служителей и пастырей для управления Церковью. И при том с тем условием, чтобы удерживать власть за Собою; а они исполняли лишь служебные функции.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Ver. 21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace] The common salutation among the Jews (the Turks at this day salute in like sort, Salaum aleek; the reply is, Aleek salaum, that is, Peace be unto you). This our Saviour purposely redoubleth, to persuade them of pardon for their late shameful defection from him, and their backwardness to believe his resurrection. Sin is soon committed, but not so easily remitted; or, if in heaven, yet not in our own consciences, till which there is little comfort. Christ, to confirm them, is pleased again to employ them, and to count them faithful, putting them again into the ministry, 1 Timothy 1:13. A calling not more honourable than comfortable; the very trust that God commits to a man therein, seals up love and favour to him.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:21. As my Father hath sent me, &c.— "As my heavenly Father sent me into the world, to discharge the office of the Messiah; even so I, by my plenary authority, and in proof of my mediatorial commission, send you to discharge the office of apostles and ministers in preaching the gospel to every creature, and to confirm it with miraculous signs wherever you may go." See Mark 16:15; Mark 16:17-18.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. The repetition of our Saviour's endearing salutation to his desciples, Peace be unto you, peace be unto you. This was no more than might be needful, to signify his firm reconciliation to them, notwithstanding their late cowardice in forsaking of him, and flying from him, when the storm fell upon him.

Observe, 2. How Christ doth renew his disciples' commission for the work of the ministry, who possibly were much discouraged with the remembrance of their faint-heartedness in the time of his sufferings. He doth therefore anew commissionate them, and sends them forth in these words, As my Father hath sent me; that is, to preach, plant, and propagate the gospel; so send I you. By the same authority, and for the same ends, in part, for which I was sent by my Father, do I send you; namely, to gather, to govern, and instruct my church.

Learn hence, that when Christ left the world, he did not leave the church destitute of a gospel ministry, which shall continue to the end of the world. As Christ was sent by the Father, so are his ministers sent by him: and they may expect, he having the same authority and commission, the same success and blessing; and the contempt cast upon them and their message, ultimately reflects upon God and Christ, whose messengers they are.

Observe, 3. How Christ that sends them forth, doth furnish them with the gifts of the Spirit for their office: He breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; that is, the gift of the Holy Ghost. They had received the Holy Spirit before as a spirit of sanctification: here they receive it in his extraordinary gifts to fit them for their office. And Christ's conferring the Holy Ghost, by breathing upon them, shews that the Holy Spirit proceeds as well from the Son as from the Father. And as by God's breathing the first man was made a living soul; so by Christ's breathing upon the apostles they were quickened and extraordinarily enabled for the service they were called to.

Learn hence, that when Christ sends forth and about his work, he will furnish them with endowments answerable to their vast employment; and the best furniture they can have, is the Holy Spirit in his gifts and qualifications suitable to their work: He breathed on them, and said, received ye the Holy Ghost.

Observe, 4. How Christ asserts their authority in the discharge of their commission, and declares, that what they act ministerially according to their commission here on earth, is ratified in heaven: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted.

Where note, that there is a two-fold power of remitting or forgiving sins; the one magisterial and authoritative, (this belongs to Christ alone;) the other ministerial and declarative, (this belongs to Christ's ambassadors, who have a power in his name to bind and loose.) It is a pious not of St. Austin upon this place, that Christ first conferred the Holy Ghost upon his apostles, and then said, Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted. Thereby intimating, that it is not they, but the Holy Ghost by them, that puts away sin: For who can forgive sin but God only? The power of forgiving sin, that man hath, is only to declare, that if men be truly and really penitent, their sins are forgiven them for the sake of Christ's satisfaction.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 20:21". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-20.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

21.] ‘Peace be unto you’ is solemnly repeated, as the introduction of the sending which follows. The ministers and disciples of the Lord are messengers of peace. This view is more natural than that of Euthym(255): ὑπὸ πολλῆς χαρᾶς ὡς εἰκὸς θορυβοῦντας καταστέλλει, ἵνα προσέχωσιν οἷς μέλλει ἐρεῖν.

καθώς] He confirms and grounds their Apostleship on the present glorification of Himself, whose Apostleship (Hebrews 3:1) on earth was now ended, but was to be continued by this sending forth of them. This commission was not now first given them, but now first fully assured to them: and their sending forth by Him their glorified Head, was to be, in character and process, like that of Himself by the Father.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:21". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:21. πάλιν, again) They had not yet altogether comprehended the force of His former salutation: therefore it is repeated, and so is enlarged by additional words.— εἰρήνη, peace) This constitutes the foundation of the mission of the ministers of the Gospel: 2 Corinthians 4:1, “Seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.”— καθὼς, even as) Christ is “the Apostle” of the Father, Hebrews 3:1 : Peter and the others were apostles of Christ. He does not discuss at large the subject of His resurrection, but takes for granted the evidence for it, and gives further instructions.— ἀπέσταλκε· πέμπω) These two verbs differ: in ἀποστέλλω the will of the Sender, and of Him who is sent, is had respect to; in πέμπω, the will of the Sender, as distinguished from the will of the person sent.— πέμπω, I send) Both this, and what goes before and what follows, are parallel to Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings—He hath sent Me,” etc.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:21". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Peace be unto you; the repeating of this salutation speaketh it more than an ordinary compliment, or form of salutation. It signifieth his reconciliation to them, notwithstanding their error in forsaking him, and fleeing; it prepared their attention for the great things that he was now about to speak to them; it also signified, that he was about to preach the gospel of peace to all nations.

As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; I have now fulfilled my ministry, and am now going to my Father who sent me: now by the same authority that I am sent, I send you, to gather, instruct, and govern my church; I send, or I will send, you clothed with the same authority with which I am clothed, and for the same ends in part for which I was sent.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Это поручение основывается на 17:18. См. Мф. 28:19, 20.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 20:21". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-20.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Send I you; to proclaim the gospel, and make known the way of salvation.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me even so I send you.”

To whom was Jesus speaking? As mentioned above others than the eleven were present, including the women. But John makes clear that the commission here is to ‘the disciples’ and in the context of chapter 13 onwards that is the eleven. The others join in it in a general sense, but the specific actions are for ‘the disciples’ (compare John 17:18; John 17:20). This is confirmed by the words with reference to Thomas as ‘one of the twelve’ (John 20:24).

They had endured great sorrow and despair. Now He reminded them what it had all been about. They must now take over His task of being the light of the world. He was sending them just as the Father had sent Him. From now on they would be His representatives, His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). They were ‘the foundation of the twelve Apostles’ (Revelation 21:14 compare Ephesians 2:20 where the foundation is widened to include ‘prophets’, but those may have been the Old Testament prophets)

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-20.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus repeated His benediction ( John 20:19). He then commissioned His disciples for their mission from then on. [Note: See John E. Johnson, "The Old Testament Offices as Paradigm for Pastoral Identity," Bibliotheca Sacra152:606 (April-June1995):182-200.] He expressed this commission in terms of the relationships that John recorded Jesus teaching extensively in this Gospel. Jesus was sending His disciples on a mission just as His Father had sent Him on a mission (cf. John 17:18). The emphasis here is on the sending and the authoritative person doing the sending. Thus Jesus" disciples became apostles (lit. sent ones) in a new sense. The New Testament writers used the term "apostle" in a technical and in a general sense. In the general sense, it refers to all Christians (cf. Acts 14:4; Acts 14:14; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25). In the technical sense, it refers to the original12apostles-Matthias took Judas Iscariot"s place ( Acts 1:26)-plus Paul.

Each Gospel plus Acts records a different version of the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8). Jesus apparently gave this commission on at least four separate occasions. The first recorded commission chronologically was evidently the one in John 20:21-23. The second was the one recorded in Mark 16:15-16. Matthew 28:19-20 appears to be another account of a later event. Likewise Luke 24:46-48 and Acts 1:8 seem to be two versions of one incident, the last giving of the commission. The reader of the Gospels can scarcely escape its crucial importance. Each Gospel closes with a commission from the risen Lord. It expresses God"s will for every believer in the present age.

Some Christians believe that Jesus intended this commission only for His original disciples. They point to the fact that the writers of the New Testament epistles never referred to it. However even though they did not refer to it explicitly they clearly presupposed its validity for the whole church. They simply cast it in different terminology (e.g, 2 Corinthians 5:20). The universal scope of the commission also argues for its continuation. Third, the repetition of this commission five times suggests that Jesus intended all of His disciples to carry it out. Finally, this was the last charge that Jesus gave His disciples before He returned to His Father ( Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8). This fact also suggests that He intended it for all succeeding generations of disciples.

Clearly on this occasion Jesus was presenting His mission as a model for His disciples" mission. Many Christians have concluded, therefore, that what characterized Jesus" ministry must characterize the church"s ministry. They see this mission including healing the sick, casting out demons, and feeding the hungry. They believe that the church"s mission is much broader than just preaching the gospel, baptizing, teaching, and planting churches. I believe this understanding is correct.

However the emphasis on Jesus" mission in John"s Gospel has been primarily that Jesus always carried out God"s will in perfect obedience (cf. John 5:19-30; John 8:29). Even before His crucifixion Jesus stressed the importance of the believer"s obedience as the fulfillment of this paradigm ( John 15:9-10). The purpose of Jesus" incarnation was the spiritual salvation of the world ( John 1:29). That is also the believer"s primary, though not our exclusive, purpose (cf. Galatians 6:10). As Jesus always operated in dependence on the Father with the Spirit"s enablement, so should His disciples (cf. John 1:32; John 3:34; John 4:34; John 5:19; John 6:27; John 10:36; John 17:4). As He was a Son of God, so are His disciples sons of God (cf. John 1:12-13; John 3:3; John 3:5; John 20:17).

Since believers no longer belong to the world ( John 15:19), it was necessary for Jesus to send His disciples back into the world. Our mission does not replace Jesus" mission, however. He carries out His present mission through us. [Note: Westcott, The Gospel . . . Greek Text . . ., 2:349-50.] We must consider all the versions of the Great Commission that Jesus gave to understand our mission correctly, not just this one.

". . . what is central to the Son"s mission-that he came as the Father"s gift so that those who believe in him might not perish but have eternal life ( John 3:16), experiencing new life as the children of God ( John 1:12-13) and freedom from the slavery of sin because they have been set free by the Son of God ( John 8:34-36)-must never be lost to view as the church defines her mission." [Note: Carson, The Gospel . . ., p649.]

Jesus and John reminded all disciples of these central issues in the verses that follow (cf. John 20:23; John 20:30-31).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-20.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:21. Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you. The words are exactly the same as before (John 20:19), but they must have gone home with a deeper power to the hearts of the disciples, who now understood more fully the Person from whom they came. They prepare the way for the great commission to be given,—a commission which, amidst all the trials it would bring with it from the world, the disciples are to execute in peace.

Even as the Father hath sent me, I also send you. The words ‘even as’ bring out the close correspondence between the mission of Jesus Himself and that upon which He sends His disciples. In both cases it was a mission of self-denying love to men; in both one of labour, suffering, and death, followed by glory; in both we have the thought of willing service imposed by an authority that is supreme. We have already met with words expressing a very similar thought in our Lord’s intercessory prayer: ‘Even as Thou didst send Me into the world, I also sent them into the world’ (chap. John 17:18). But there is one important point of difference, which an English translation fails to exhibit. In chap. 17 the Greek word for ‘sent’ is the same in both members of the sentence; in the verse before us it is otherwise. Here the former clause (‘Even as the Father hath sent Me’) contains the word of chap. John 17:18 (apostello), but in the latter clause (‘I also send you’) the verb is different (pempo). The distinction in meaning seems to be that the second word expresses mission, the first more properly commission. When the first is used, our thoughts turn to a special embassy, and special instructions which the ambassador receives; the second brings into view rather the authority of the sender and the obedience of the sent. Both words, therefore, may be used either of our Lord or of His disciples. Thus in more than twenty verses of this Gospel Jesus applies the second word to Himself (see especially chap. John 4:34, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me’); whilst in such passages as chap. John 6:29, John 17:3 (John 17:8; John 17:18; John 17:21; John 17:23; John 17:25), we find instead the more expressive word. In chap. John 5:36-37, and again in chap. John 7:28-29, the two are brought together, as they are here; and the appropriateness of each word in its place may readily be seen. In chaps, John 5:37 and John 7:28 our thought must rest chiefly on the Sender; but in chaps, John 5:36 and John 7:29 on the commission which the Father has given to His Son. On the other hand, the word apostello is used by Jesus in regard to His disciples in chap. John 4:38 (‘I sent you to reap’) as well as in chap. John 17:18; and is indeed the word from which the distinctive name of the Twelve, ‘apostles,’ is derived. Various thoughts are suggested here by the marked and sudden transition from one word to the other. It may be said with truth that, as chap. John 17:18 has its primary application to apostles, the word which designates their special office was naturally chosen there; here, on the contrary (see note on John 20:19), the disciples in general are addressed,—the disciples who are the representatives of the whole Church of Christ. Again, the word by which Jesus here expresses the mission of His disciples (pempo), is one which brings into relief their separation from His bodily presence: formerly they were continually at His side, but now they must be dismissed for their labour throughout the world (Matthew 28:19). One other thought it is impossible to overlook. There is peculiar dignity in the avoidance on the part of the Risen Lord of that form of speech which would seem to identify two relations which (however closely they may sometimes be associated) are essentially distinct. No human disciples can really bear the commission of Jesus as Jesus bears that which He has received from the Father (comp. note on John 20:17). By design, therefore, the Lord here, reserving for Himself the higher word, speaks of the disciples as His envoys to the world. The commission which they hold from Him receives separate mention in a later verse (John 20:23).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 20:21. When they recognised Him and composed themselves, He naturally repeated His greeting, , but now adds, . “As the Father hath sent me, so send I you.” In these words (cf.John 17:18) He gives them their commission as His representatives. And in confirmation of it, (John 20:22) . “He breathed on them,” ; the same word is used in Genesis 2:7 to describe the distinction between Adam’s “living soul,” breathed into him by God, and the life principle of the other animals. The breathing upon them was meant to convey the impression that His own very Spirit was imparted to them.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

As the Father hath sent me. The word mission, when applied to our Saviour Christ, sometimes signifies his eternal procession from the Father, and sometimes his mission, as he was sent into the world to become man, and the Redeemer of mankind: the first mission agrees with him, as the eternal Son of God; the second, as man, or as both God and man. The mission which Christ here gives his apostles, is like this latter mission, which this great difference, that graces and divine gifts were bestowed on Christ, even as man, without measure: and the apostles had a much lesser share in both these missions. See St. Augustine, lib. iv. de Trin. chap. xix. xx. tom. 4. p. 829. and seq. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ here shews his commission, and so giveth power to his apostles to forgive sins, as when he gave them commission to preach and baptize throughout the world, he made mention of his own power. Hence, whosoever denies the apostles, and their successors, the right of preaching, baptizing, and remitting sins, must consequently deny that Christ, as man, had the power to do the same. St. Cyprian, in the 3rd century, ep. lxxiii. says: "for the Lord, in the first place, gave to St. Peter, on whom he built his Church, super quem ædificavit Ecclesiam, the power that what he loosed on earth, should be loosed also in heaven. And after his resurrection, he speaks also to his apostles, saying, as the Father sent me, &c. whose sins you shall forgive," &c. Why, on this occasion, passing over the other apostles, does Jesus Christ address Peter alone? Because he was the mouth, and chief of the apostles. (St. John Chrysostom, de Sacerd. lib. ii. chap. 1.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

My Father = The Father. See John 1:14.

sent. Greek. apostello. App-174.

even so = I also.

send. Greek. pempo. App-174. Note the distinction. The Father sent the Son alone, but the Son sends His disciples with an "escort" or guard, i.e. the Holy Spirit. This is to emphasize the fact that the Lord remains (by the Spirit) with those whom He sends.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Then said Jesus to them again - now that they were not only calmed, but prepared to listen to Him in a new character.

Peace be unto you. The reiteration of these precious words shows that this was what He designed to be not only the fundamental but ever-present, ever-conscious possession of His people.

As my Father (rather, 'the Father') hath sent me, even so send I you - or rather, perhaps, 'even so am I sending you,' that is, just about to do it. (See the note at John 17:18.)

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

21. As the Father sent me, so I send you. This is the Great Commission, which he speaks more fully in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20), and finally completed on the Mount of Olives, just before he was taken up to heaven (Acts 1:8). He had carefully trained these men for just this work.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 20:21". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-20.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you.—These words may be here a solemn repetition of the greeting in John 20:19, by which our Lord’s own message of peace is immediately connected with that which the Apostles were to deliver to the world. It is, however, more natural to understand the words in John 20:19 as those of greeting, and these as words of farewell. (Comp. John 14:27.) Other words had intervened, as we know from St. Luke’s narrative. He is now about to withdraw the evidence of His presence from them, and does so with the customary “Shalôm;” but with this He reminds them of the apostleship to which He has called them, gives them an earnest of the Presence which will never leave them, but always qualify them for it (John 20:22), and places before them the greatness of the work to which He sends them (John 20:23).

As my (better, the) Father hath sent me, even so send I you.—Comp. Note on John 17:18, where the words occur in prayer to the Father. As spoken here to the disciples ‘they are the identification of them with Himself in His mediatorial work. He is the great Apostle (Hebrews 3:1); they are ambassadors for Christ, to whom He commits the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18 et seq.). He stands in the same relation to the Father as that in which they stand to Him. He declares to them, and they in His name are to declare to the world, the fulness of the Father’s love, and the peace between man and God, witnessed to in His life and death. He and they stand also in the same relation to the world. At this very moment they are assembled with shut doors, for fear of the Jews, who are triumphing over Him as dead. But to that world, which will hate, persecute, and kill them, as it had hated, persecuted, and killed Him, they are sent as He was sent; they are to declare forgiveness, mercy, love, peace, as He had declared them, to every heart that does not harden itself against them; and they are to find in His presence, as He had ever found in the Father’s presence, the support which will ever bring peace to their own hearts (John 14:27).

And when he had said this, he breathed on them.—The word rendered “breathed” occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, but was familiar from its use in the Greek (LXX.) of Genesis 2:7. St. John uses to describe this act of the risen Lord the striking word which had been used to describe the act by which God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. He writes as one who remembered how the influence of that moment on their future lives was a new spiritual creation, by which they were called, as it were, out of death into life. It was the first step in that great moral change which passed over the disciples after the Crucifixion, and of which the day of Pentecost witnessed the accomplishment.

And saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.—These words are not, on the one hand, to be understood as simply a promise of the future gift of the Holy Ghost, for they are a definite imperative, referring to the moment when they were spoken; nor are they, on the other hand, to be taken as the promised advent of the Paraclete (John 14:16 et seq.), for the gift of the Holy Ghost was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39; John 16:7 et seq.). The meaning is that He then gave to them a sign, which was itself to faithful hearts as the firstfruits of that which was to come. His act was sacramental, and with the outer and visible sign there was the inward and spiritual grace. The very word used was that used when He said to them, “Take (receive ye), eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22). It would come to them now with a fulness of sacred meaning. The Risen Body is present with them. The constant spiritual Presence in the person of the Paraclete is promised to them. They again hear the words “Receive ye,” and the very command implies the power to obey. (Comp. Excursus C: The Sacramental Teaching of St. John’s Gospel, p. 556.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Peace
14:27
as
13:20; 17:18,19; 21:15-17; Isaiah 63:1-3; Matthew 10:16,40; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 3:1
Reciprocal: Genesis 43:23 - Peace;  Numbers 6:26 - give thee;  Isaiah 22:24 - hang;  Isaiah 48:16 - the Lord God;  Jeremiah 23:21 - GeneralEzekiel 2:3 - I send;  Malachi 2:7 - the messenger;  Matthew 9:6 - that the;  Matthew 9:38 - the Lord;  Matthew 10:5 - sent;  Matthew 13:37 - is;  Matthew 23:34 - I send;  Matthew 28:8 - with;  Luke 4:43 - therefore;  John 14:28 - Father;  John 15:16 - ordained;  John 17:22 - the glory;  John 20:19 - Peace;  Acts 1:2 - the apostles;  Acts 5:31 - forgiveness;  Romans 10:15 - And how;  1 Corinthians 1:1 - an;  2 Corinthians 5:20 - ambassadors;  Galatians 1:1 - and;  2 Peter 1:1 - an apostle;  1 John 4:6 - he that knoweth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 21. "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."

The first "peace" was directed to the disciples; the second to the Apostles. Before He gave them their commission, our Lord assured His servants of their protection against all their enemies. This peace, guaranteed to them in respect to their office, had its foundation in the fact of the resurrection; and, as connected with that, or immediately springing from it, the Lord's speedy assumption into the full participation of the glory of the Father. Instead of πέμπω, the other word, ἀποστέλλω, might, in itself considered, have been used: this is evident from the name of the Apostles, and ch. John 17:18. But there is an intentional variation in the word, in order to avoid placing the mission of the Apostles on a level with that of their Master. That this sending was so directly connected with their assurance of the resurrection, reminded the Apostles that the significance of the resurrection extended far beyond the narrow circle of those to whom the Lord announced Himself as risen; that it was a resurrection œcumenical and for all the world; that the great concern would now be to enter upon the work of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth, according to the manifold predictions of the prophets; and that they must not think to enjoy in passive contemplation the blessedness obtained for them, but gird up their loins, and take up the sword, for contest with all the powers of the world. The mission of Jesus now had its end; and its end was the beginning of the mission of the Apostles. (Calvin: "His own course being fulfilled, He commits the same functions to them, who should govern the Church to the end of the world.") Jesus does not say, "I will send you," but "I send you." With their own conviction of the reality of the resurrection began in them a new life, which should urge them mightily forth into the world. The day of Pentecost only brought to consummation what was already begun here. It was not the Feast of Pentecost, but the resurrection announced to them, that Jesus had already referred to as the great crisis and turning-point in ch. John 16:23; John 16:26.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:21". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21.Jesus saith to them again, Peace be to you. This second salutation appears to me to have no other object than that the Lord should receive such a degree of attention as was due to the greatness and importance of the subjects on which he was about to speak.

As the Father hath sent me. By these words, Christ, as it were, instals them in the office to which he had previously appointed them. True, they had been already sent throughout Judea, but only as heralds, to issue a command that the supreme Teacher should be heard, and not as Apostles, to execute a perpetual office of teaching. But now the Lord ordains them to be his ambassadors, to establish his kingdom in the world. Let it therefore be held by us as an ascertained truth, that the Apostles were now, for the first time, appointed to be ordinary ministers of the Gospel.

His words amount to a declaration, that hitherto he has discharged the office of a Teacher, and that, having finished his course, he now confers on them the same office; for he means that the Father appointed him to be a Teacher on this condition, that he should be employed, for a time, in pointing out the way to others, and should, afterwards, put those persons in his room to supply his absence, for this reason Paul says that he gave some, apostles; some, evangelists; some, pastors, to govern the Church till the end of the world, (Ephesians 4:11.) Christ therefore testifies, first, that, though he held a temporary office of teaching, still the preaching of the Gospel is not for a short time, but will be perpetual. Again, that his doctrine may not have less authority in the mouth of the Apostles, he bids them succeed to that office which he has received from his Father, placesthem in his room, and bestows on them the same authority; and it was proper that their ministry should be ratified in this manner, for they were unknown persons and of mean condition. Moreover, though they had the highest splendor and dignity, yet we know that all that belongs to men does not approach to the excellence of faith.

It is not without reason, therefore, that Christ communicates to his Apostles the authority which he received from the Father, that thus he may declare that the preaching of the Gospel was committed to him, nut by human authority, but by the command of God. But he does not substitute them in his room, in such a manner as to resign to them the highest authority as a teacher, which the Father intended to be vested in him alone. He therefore continues, and will eternally continue to be, the only Teacher of the Church; but there is only this difference, that he spoke with his mouth so long as he dwelt on earth, but now speaks by the Apostles. The succession or substitution, (205) therefore, is of such a nature that it takes nothing from Christ, but his authority remains full and entire, and his honor unimpaired; for that decree by which we are enjoined to hear him, and not others, cannot be set aside:

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him,
(
Matthew 17:5.)

In short, Christ intended here to adorn the doctrine of the Gospel and not men.

It ought likewise to be observed, that the only subject which is handled in this passage is the preaching of the Gospel; for Christ does not send his Apostles to atone for sins, and to procure justification, as he was sent by the Father. Accordingly, he makes no allusion in this passage to anything which is peculiar to himself, but only appoints ministers and pastors to govern the Church; and on this condition, that he alone keeps possession of the whole power, while they claim nothing for themselves but the ministry.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.