Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Why did Jesus breathe on the disciples? What was he up to?

John 20:22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.


I had to delete this question and reword it twice to finally get it to post. damned censorship.

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    He was actually addressing the comment about holy spirit to the eyelash he was blowing off their face. Apparently nobody had thought to do that before then. The full quote was "Receive the holy spirit and get off this man's face".

    Source(s): Just happy to be of assistance.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    OK, this is complicated, and I don't know if I can explain it in a few sentences, but I'll try.

    "The Breath of God", I think, is symbolic for His spirit, or His "life force". Remember in Genesis, Adam "became a living soul" AFTER God breathed the breath of life into Him.

    Again, Jesus compares thost "born of the spirit" with wind...and at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit announced His arrival with wind that shook the house where the people were sitting.

    I believe Jesus was breathing His spirit into them...

    Again, not very many Christians will probably agree with me.

    EDIT: Paul Cyp has the idea!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Breath was considered synonymous with spirit. In Hebrew the same word was used for both. Death was separation of the spirit from the body, and it was observable that a person died when their last breath (therefore their spirit) passed their lips. Therefore breathing upon someone meant imparting the spirit in a special way. In the case you mention, Jesus was just about to bestow upon the apostles, the first priests of His Church, the power to forgive men's sins in His name, something that could be done only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Jesus symbolized that special outpouring of the spirit of God upon them by using a symbolic gesture they all recognized the significance of - breathing upon them.


  • 1 decade ago

    The prophets used to transmit prophecy were moved by an unerring means and in a wonderful manner. It is by inspiration that this was brought about. “All Scripture is inspired of God,” says Paul at 2 Timothy 3:16 (NW). The Greek word here translated “inspired of God” is theópneustos, which compound word literally means “God-breathed” or “breathed by God”. After his resurrection and shortly before his ascension into heaven and thus before his disciples received the power of the holy spirit at Pentecost A.D. 33, Jesus illustrated this means of inspiration. It is written: “Jesus . . . said to them again: ‘May you have peace. Just as the Father has sent me forth, I also am sending you.’ And after he said this he blew upon them and said to them: ‘Receive holy spirit.’” (John 20:21, 22, NW)

    To breathe in this context means 'give to.'

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Did he really? That's kind of creepy. I wonder what the disciples were thinking when he did that?

    Maybe it was some kind of Spock/McCoy thing where Spock mindmelds him and says "Remember". You know, so Jesus was putting the holy spirit in the disciples so when he went to the Genesis planet he could get his memories back and save the whales, or something.

  • 1 decade ago

    the spirit is often associated with breath or wind. the hebrew for spirit ruach means spirt wind or breath. Jesus was either symbolically making a point, or was actually convying the holy spirit to the disciples by his breath

  • 1 decade ago

    Jesus symbolically gave them notice that soon holy spirit would be poured out on them.

    A few days later .....vroooom Acts 2:2-4

  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe he was trying to spread the scent of his halitosis.

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