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 on our Commentaries on Proverbs page, or click on the related articles below: • 3 Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ We Should Know • Jesus Appeared to Thomas: What Is the Significance
Today’s Gospel Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you. Reflection Whenever I read this verse, I cannot help but ponder: Though it happened thousand years ago, what was the significance of Jesus’ resurrection? Why did He appear to people after His resurrection? From a spiritual book, I have read one passage: “And when He walked out from the grave, and appeared to the people one by one, the majority of people who had seen Him with their own eyes or heard the news of His resurrection gradually shifted from denial to skepticism. By the time the Lord Jesus had Thomas put his hand into His side, by the time the Lord Jesus broke bread and ate it in front of the crowd after His resurrection, and after that ate broiled fish in front of them, only then did they truly accept the fact that the Lord Jesus is Christ in the flesh. … This brief reunion made the people who saw the Lord Jesus feel as if a lifetime had passed. Their lost, confused, afraid, anxious, yearning and numb hearts found comfort. They were no longer doubtful or disappointed because they felt that now there was hope and something to rely on. The Son of man standing in front of them would be behind them for eternity, He would be their strong tower, their refuge for all time.” God examines the innermost heart of man. Jesus knew that His disciples followed Him, but they didn’t believe that He was the incarnate God, much less the fact of His resurrection. Thomas was the classical example. After he touched Jesus’ wound in His rib and nail marks in His hands, Thomas’ doubt of God disappeared. Hence, Jesus’ appearance to people was to make those who followed Him truly believe that He is the incarnate God and is the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things. Although He was nailed to the cross, He had the power of resurrection. From these, we can see God’s authority, strengthen our faith, and truly rely on Him on our path of following God. » Read more in these articles: • 3 Aspects to Unravel Mystery of Incarnation of Jesus • What’s the Significance of the Lord Becoming Man’s Sin Offering? • 3 Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ We Should Know
I think all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord know that the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples many times after resurrection. But have you ever thought about God’s will behind it?
By Hanxiao What Is Easter? The Origins of Easter Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as it is also called, is a holiday which celebrates the Lord Jesus’ resurrection that occurred three days after He was crucified upon the cross. Its exact time falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox every year. In order to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus and to remember the salvation and hope Jesus brought to mankind, each year from March to April, Christians all over the world hold celebrations on the day of Easter. So while us Christians are commemorating the resurrection of Jesus, do we know why He returned from the dead and appeared to man despite having already finished His work of redemption? And what is the meaning behind His resurrection and His appearance to man? The Meaning of the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection and of His Appearance to Man God’s words say: “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” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). “After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to the people He thought necessary, spoke with them, and made requirements of them, leaving behind His intentions, and His expectations of people. That is to say, as God incarnate, it doesn’t matter if it was during His time in the flesh, or in the spiritual body after being nailed to the cross and being resurrected—His concern for mankind and requirements of people did not change. He was concerned about these disciples before He was up on the cross; in His heart, He was clear on the state of every single person, He understood every person’s deficiency, and of course His understanding of every person was the same after He had died, resurrected, and become a spiritual body as it was when He was in the flesh. He knew that people weren’t entirely certain of His identity as Christ, but during His time in the flesh He did not make strict demands of people. But after He had been resurrected He appeared to them, and He made them absolutely certain that the Lord Jesus had come from God, that He was God incarnate, and He used the fact of His appearance and His resurrection as the greatest vision and motivation for mankind’s lifelong pursuit. His resurrection from death not only strengthened all those who followed Him, but also thoroughly put His work of the Age of Grace into effect among mankind, and thus the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ salvation in the Age of Grace gradually spread to every corner of humanity. Would you say that the Lord Jesus’ appearance after His resurrection had any significance? … His appearance allowed people to have another experience and feeling of God’s concern and care while also powerfully proving that God is the One who opens up an age, who develops an age, and He is the One who ends an age. Through His appearance He strengthened the faith of all people, and through His appearance He proved to the world the fact that He is God Himself. This gave His followers eternal confirmation, and through His appearance He also opened up a phase of His work in the new age” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). From God’s words, we can see that there is a profound meaning to the Lord Jesus appearing many times to His disciples after He had returned from the dead, and God’s painstaking care and thought is also hidden behind it! Jesus knew that, although those who followed Him at the time had listened to many of His teachings and had seen many miracles performed by the Lord, and they claimed that Jesus was their Lord and that He was the Son of God, yet they had no true understanding of the fact that Jesus was Christ and that He was God Himself. When Jesus was captured by the Roman authorities and was flogged and mocked by the soldiers, many of those who followed Him began to have doubts about His identity, and their faith in the Lord grew weaker and weaker. Especially when the Lord Jesus died after being nailed to the cross, many people were utterly disappointed in Him, and what had begun as doubt became denial of the Lord Jesus. Against such a context as this, if the Lord Jesus had not appeared to man after His resurrection, many of those who had followed Him would no longer have believed in Jesus Christ and they would have turned back to the Age of Law and continued to observe the law of the Old Testament. God scrutinized…
Today’s Gospel And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. – Matthew 28:18 Reflection After Jesus’ resurrection, He said these words to His disciples. From His words, we can see that Jesus has overcome death and Jesus is God Himself. Christians know that Jesus’ resurrection is of the utmost importance to us, but what’s the significance of His appearance after His resurrection. God’s words say, “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.” After reading these words, I got a little understanding. Jesus was in the flesh before the resurrection, but appeared to people in a spiritual body. At that moment, Jesus had transcended the limitations of the flesh. To His disciples, Jesus’ spiritual body was so mysterious and perplexing for them. It would create distance between the Lord Jesus and His disciples. Jesus was clear about man’s mentality and needs. On one hand, He appeared to His disciples for 40 days after His resurrection, which made them believe that Jesus indeed resurrected from death and He is indeed the incarnate God, the Christ. On the other hand, He had opened up a phase of the work in the Age of Grace, and led the people to come out from the law, and enter into a new era, so that the disciples’ confidence could be strengthened. Therefore, they started to testify for Jesus and spread the gospel of Jesus’ salvation to the very ends of the universe. » Further reading about the resurrection of Jesus Christ: • 3 Aspects to Unravel Mystery of Incarnation of Jesus • What’s the Significance of the Lord Becoming Man’s Sin Offering? • 3 Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ We Should Know
13. The Lord Jesus Eats Bread and Explains the Scriptures After His Resurrection Luk 24:30–32 And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? 14. The Disciples Give the Lord Jesus Broiled Fish to Eat Luk 24:36–43 And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said to them, Have you here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them. Next we’ll take a look at the passages of scripture above. The first passage is a recounting of the Lord Jesus eating bread and explaining the scriptures after His resurrection, and the second passage is a recounting of the Lord Jesus eating broiled fish. What kind of help do these two passages provide for knowing God’s disposition? Can you imagine the kind of picture you get from these descriptions of the Lord Jesus eating bread and then broiled fish? Can you imagine, if the Lord Jesus were standing in front of you eating bread, how you might feel? Or if He were eating with you at the same table, eating fish and bread with people, what kind of feeling you would have at the time? If you feel you would be very close to the Lord, that He is very intimate with you, then this feeling is right. This is exactly the fruit that the Lord Jesus wanted to bear from eating bread and fish in front of the multitude after His resurrection. If the Lord Jesus had only spoken with people after His resurrection, if they could not feel His flesh and bones, but felt He was an unreachable Spirit, how would they feel? Wouldn’t they be disappointed? When people were disappointed, wouldn’t they feel abandoned? Wouldn’t they feel a distance with the Lord Jesus Christ? What kind of negative impact would this distance create on people’s relationship with God? People would certainly feel afraid, that they didn’t dare come close to Him, and then they would have an attitude of keeping Him at a respectful distance. From then on, they would sever their intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and return to a relationship between mankind and God up in heaven, as it was before the Age of Grace. The spiritual body that people could not touch or feel would lead to the eradication of their intimacy with God, and it would also make that intimate relationship—established during the Lord Jesus Christ’s time in the flesh, with no distance between Him and humans—cease to exist. People’s feelings toward the spiritual body are only fear, avoidance, and a wordless gaze. They do not dare to get close or to have a dialogue with Him, let alone follow, trust, or have hope in Him. God was reluctant to see this type of feeling that humans had for Him. He did not want to see people avoiding Him or removing themselves from Him; He only wanted people to understand Him, come close to Him, and be His family. If your own family, your children saw you but did not recognize you, and did not dare to come close to you but always avoided you, if you could not gain their understanding for everything you had done for them, how would that make you feel? Wouldn’t it be painful? Wouldn’t you be heartbroken? That is precisely what God feels when people avoid Him. So, after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus still appeared to people in His form of flesh and blood, and ate and drank with them. God sees people as family and He also wants mankind to see Him that way; only in this way can God truly obtain people, and can people truly love and worship God. Now can you understand My intention in extracting these two passages of scripture where the Lord Jesus eats bread and explains the scriptures after His resurrection, and the disciples give Him broiled fish to eat? It can be said that the series of things that the Lord Jesus said and did after His resurrection were thoughtful, and done with kind intentions. They were full of the kindness and affection that God holds toward humanity, and full of the appreciation and meticulous care He had for the intimate relationship He had established with mankind during His time in the flesh. Even more, they were full of the nostalgia and the hope He had for the life of eating and living with His followers during His time in the flesh. So, God did not want people to feel a distance between God and man, nor did He want mankind to distance themselves from God. Even more, He didn’t want mankind to feel that the Lord Jesus after His resurrection was no longer the Lord who was so intimate with people, that He was no longer together with mankind because He returned to the spiritual world, returned to the Father who people could never see or reach. He didn’t want people to feel that there was any difference in position between…
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