Today’s Gospel Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. – John 20:29 Reflection In the past, when I saw this verse, I only thought these were the Lord’s words to Thomas. But several days ago, I saw a passage on the Internet, which made me realize that Thomas represents a type of person and the words spoken by the Lord are also a caution and a warning for us. Share this passage with you: “Thomas represents a type of person who believes in God yet doubts God. They are of a suspicious nature, have sinister hearts, are treacherous, and do not believe in the things that God can complete. They do not believe in God’s omnipotence and His rule, and they don’t believe in God incarnate. However, the Lord Jesus’ resurrection was a slap in the face to them, and it also provided them with an opportunity to discover their own doubt, to recognize their own doubt, and to acknowledge their own treachery, thus truly believing in the existence and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. What happened with Thomas was a warning and a caution for later generations so that more people could warn themselves not to be doubting like Thomas, and if they were, they would sink into the darkness. If you follow God, but just like Thomas, you always want to touch the Lord’s rib and feel His nail marks to confirm, to verify, to speculate on whether or not God exists, God will forsake you. So, the Lord Jesus requires people to not be like Thomas, only believing what they can see with their own eyes, but to be a pure, honest person, to not harbor doubts toward God, but only believe in and follow Him. This type of person is blessed. This is a very small requirement the Lord Jesus has for people, and a warning for His followers.” After reading these words, I understand the reason why the people such as Thomas have failed. It is because that their hearts are too deceitful. They always assess the authenticity and reason of things with their own eyes, clinging to the view “seeing is believing,” and do not have the eagerness to seek the truth, this kind of people finally are ruined by their deceitfulness. Now we all yearn for the second coming of Jesus, but many people believe that the Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ. No matter who testify that the Lord has returned, they do not believe and cling to their own conceptions and only believe when they see the Lord come openly on clouds with their own eyes. Don’t they have the same viewpoint as Thomas? If we hear someone preaches the Lord has come, we don’t put aside our imaginations and conceptions, or follow the masses, waiting and seeing, or hesitate to seek and investigate the true way, we are surely unable to see the Lord’s appearance, thus we’ll lose the opportunity to gain salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” These words are just the Lord’s reminders of us so that we won’t follow in the footsteps of those who had failed. » Read more in these articles: • 3 Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ We Should Know • Lessons From the Lord Jesus’ Appearance to Thomas the Apostle • Do You Know the Real Meaning of Easter?
12. The Lord Jesus’ Words to His Disciples After His Resurrection Jhn 20:26–29 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you. Then said He to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold My hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My LORD and my God. Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Jhn 21:16–17 He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My sheep. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, Love you Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. What these passages recount are some things that the Lord Jesus did and said to His disciples after His resurrection. First, let’s take a look at any differences between the Lord Jesus before and after the resurrection. Was He still the same Lord Jesus of past days? The scripture contains the following line describing the Lord Jesus after the resurrection: “Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.” It’s very clear that the Lord Jesus at that time was no longer a flesh, but a spiritual body. This was because He had transcended the limitations of the flesh, and when the door was closed He could still come into the midst of the people and allow them to see Him. This is the greatest difference between the Lord Jesus after the resurrection and the Lord Jesus living in the flesh before the resurrection. Even though there was no difference between the appearance of the spiritual body of that moment and the appearance of the Lord Jesus from before, Jesus in that moment had become a Jesus that felt like a stranger to the people, because He had become a spiritual body after being resurrected from the dead, and compared to His previous flesh, this spiritual body was more puzzling and confusing for people. It also created more distance between the Lord Jesus and the people, and people felt in their hearts that the Lord Jesus in that moment had become more mysterious. These understandings and feelings on the part of the people suddenly brought them back to an age of believing in a God that could not be seen or touched. So, the first thing that the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection was to allow everyone to see Him, to confirm that He exists, and to confirm the fact of His resurrection. In addition, it restored His relationship with the people to the relationship He had with them when He was working in the flesh, and He was the Christ they could see and touch. This way, one outcome is that the people had no doubt that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected from death after being nailed to the cross, and there was no doubt in the Lord Jesus’ work to redeem mankind. And another outcome is that the fact of the Lord Jesus appearing to people after His resurrection and allowing people to see and touch Him firmly secured mankind in the Age of Grace. From this time on, people could not return to the previous age, the Age of Law, because of the Lord Jesus’ “disappearance” or “desertion,” but they would continue forward, following the Lord Jesus’ teachings and the work He had done. Thus, a new phase in the work in the Age of Grace was formally opened up, and the people who had been under the law formally came out from the law from then on, and entered into a new era, with a new beginning. These are the manifold meanings of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind after the resurrection. Since He was a spiritual body, how could people touch Him, and see Him? This has to do with the significance of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind. Did you notice anything in these passages of scripture? Generally spiritual bodies cannot be seen or touched, and after the resurrection the work that the Lord Jesus had taken on had already been completed. So in theory, He had absolutely no need to return to the people’s midst in His original image to meet with them, but the appearance of the Lord Jesus’ spiritual body to people like Thomas made its significance more concrete, and it penetrated more deeply into the people’s hearts. When He came to Thomas, He let doubting Thomas touch His hand, and told him: “Reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.” These words, these actions weren’t things that the Lord Jesus wanted to say and do only after He had been resurrected, but they were things He wanted to do before He had been nailed to the cross. It is evident that the Lord Jesus who had not yet been nailed to the cross already had an understanding of people such as Thomas. So what can we see from this? He was still the same Lord Jesus after His resurrection. His essence had not changed. Thomas’ doubts had not just started but had been with him the entire time he had been following the Lord Jesus, but He was the Lord Jesus that had been resurrected from the dead and had returned from the spiritual world with His original image, with His original disposition, and with His understanding of mankind from His time in…
It is recorded in John 20:26–29 that after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus appeared to Thomas, His disciple. Do you know the meaning within?
Peter Knew God Best I Peter was faithful to God for years, yet he never had a complaining heart. Even Job was not his equal, much less saints throughout the ages. He not only sought to know God, but to know Him when Satan schemed. Years of service, after God’s heart; Satan could not exploit him. Peter knew God, Peter knew God best. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. II Peter drew upon the faith of Job, but he understood some things Job did not. Though Job had great faith, he lacked knowledge of the spiritual realm. He spoke many words mistaken, not aligning right with the truth. All his knowledge was still shallow, incapable of perfection. Peter knew God, Peter knew God best. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. III Peter always looked to gaining a sense of the spirit. He was focused on observing the dynamics of the spiritual realm. He could not only grasp God’s will, but understood some of Satan’s schemes. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. Peter knew God, Peter knew God best. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. Peter knew God, Peter knew God best. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. His knowledge of God was greater than that of anyone. » We’d like to share with you the article: Why Could Peter Be Approved of by Lord Jesus?
Why did the Lord Jesus appear and speak to Thomas the apostle, and allow him to touch His hands after resurrection? What should we learn from Thomas the apostle? Through reading the Bible, I got some enlightenment.
Why Could Peter Be Approved of by Lord Jesus? Peter and Paul are Lord Jesus’ disciples, but what’s the difference in their pursuit?
By Zhang Jin In Matthew 16:18-19 the Lord Jesus said: “And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Whenever I read these two verses, I would think: Why did the Lord Jesus give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven? Since the Lord Jesus bestowed upon Peter such great authority, it means that the Lord Jesus approved of Peter’s faith and that Peter was a person after God’s heart. But I couldn’t understand why the Lord commended Peter since he had denied knowing the Lord three times before His crucifixion. I was very perplexed. One day, I opened the Bible, and turned to Matthew 16, trying to find from the context the prerequisite and background for the Lord Jesus’ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:13-19 records: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” I read these verses repeatedly and pondered them carefully: Did the Lord Jesus approve of Peter because, of His disciples, only Peter recognized He was the Christ? Why did the Lord Jesus say that Peter was blessed and give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven after he answered Him by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”? But I still could not figure out why the Lord approved of Peter’s faith, and didn’t know how I should pursue to receive the Lord’s approval of my faith. I asked all the preachers I knew these questions, but no one could give me a satisfying answer. I was very disappointed: Why do none of them know the answer? How then can they lead the believers onto the path of being approved by God? I felt that the prospects of my faith in God were bleak, thinking: If only I could see the Lord Jesus and ask Him about that. … Later, I finally found the reason that Peter gained God’s approval from a book, which says: “Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because he has something of worth, or something worth perfecting, he has a resolution to seek truth and has a firm will; he has reason, is willing to suffer hardship, and he rejoices in truth in his heart, and when he encounters something he will not let it go. These are all strong points.” “After a period of experience, Peter saw in Jesus many of the deeds of God, saw the loveliness of God, and saw much of God’s being in Jesus. So too did he see that the words of Jesus could not have been spoken by man, and that the work Jesus did could not have been done by man. In Jesus’ words and actions, furthermore, Peter saw much of the wisdom of God, and much divine work. During his experiences, he did not merely come to know himself, but also focused on observing the actions of Jesus, from which he discovered many new things; namely, that there were many expressions of the practical God in the work that God did through Jesus, and that Jesus’ words, actions, the ways He shepherded the churches and the work He carried out differed from any ordinary man. Thus, from Jesus he learned many lessons that he was supposed to learn, and by the time Jesus was about to be nailed to the cross, he had gained some knowledge of Jesus—a knowledge which was the basis of his lifelong loyalty to Jesus, and of his crucifixion upside down for the sake of Jesus.” “Though there were three times when Peter denied knowing Christ, and though he tempted the Lord Jesus, such slight human weakness bore no relation to his nature, and did not affect his future pursuit, and cannot sufficiently prove that his temptation was an act of antichrist. Normal human weakness is something shared by all people in the world—do you expect Peter to be any different? … Though the many years of painful experiences of Peter are not recorded in the Bible, this does not prove that Peter did not have real experiences, or that Peter was not made perfect. How can the work of God be fully fathomed by man?” “Peter was made perfect through experiencing dealing and refinement. He said, ‘I must satisfy God’s desire at all times. In all that I do I only seek to satisfy God’s desire, and whether I am chastised, or judged, still I am happy to do so.’ Peter gave his all to God, and his work, words, and entire life were all for the sake of loving God. … What Peter cared about was the true love within his heart, and that which was practical and could be achieved. He did not care about whether he would receive a reward, but about…