Reflection on John 20-19

Jesus’ resurrection—Gospel Reflection on John 20:19

John 20:19 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   » Most people also watch: The Lord Jesus’ Words to His Disciples After His Resurrection

Blessed Are Those Who Truly Believe in and Follow God—Reflection on John 20:29

Blessed Are Those Who Truly Believe in and Follow God—Reflection on John 20:29

John 20:29 “Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” 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?

Do You Know the Real Meaning of Easter?

Do You Know the Real Meaning of Easter?

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…

Lord Jesus return

The Significance of Christ’s Resurrection—Reflection on Matthew 28:18

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 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

Jesus Eats Bread and Explains the Scriptures After His Resurrection

Jesus Eats Bread and Explains the Scriptures After His Resurrection

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…

The Lord Jesus’ Words to His Disciples After His Resurrection

The Lord Jesus’ Words to His Disciples After His Resurrection

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…

Significance of the Lord Jesus’ Appearance to Thomas

As we all know, in the Bible there are the following scriptures: “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” (John 20:26-29). Whenever I read these scriptures, I always think: The scriptures record that the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples after the doors were shut, saying “Peace be to you!” That is to say, the Lord Jesus at that time was no longer a flesh but a spiritual body, for only the spiritual body is not subject to space and geographical constraints, entering into and going out of the house with the doors closed, appearing and disappearing at any time, with transcendent power. However, I wonder all the time, “Now that the Lord Jesus, after the resurrection, has finished the work He undertook, why is it necessary for Him to return to the people’s midst in His original image, appearing to His disciples or talking to Thomas?” Not until I have read God’s words did I have a brand-new understanding and knowledge of the intention of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to His disciple Thomas after the resurrection. God’s word says: “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 the flesh, so He went to find Thomas first, to let Thomas touch His rib, to let him not only see His spiritual body after resurrection, but to let him touch and feel the existence of His spiritual body, and completely let go of his doubts. Before the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, Thomas always doubted that He is Christ, and could not believe it. His belief in God was established only on the basis of what he could see with his own eyes, what he could touch with his own hands. The Lord Jesus had a good understanding of the faith of this type of person. They only believed in God in heaven, and did not believe at all, and would not accept the One sent by God, or the Christ in the flesh. In order to have him acknowledge and believe in the existence of the Lord Jesus and that He truly was God incarnate, He allowed Thomas to reach out his hand and touch His rib. Was Thomas’ doubting any different before and after the Lord Jesus’ resurrection? He was always doubting, and aside from the Lord Jesus’ spiritual body personally appearing to him and allowing Thomas to touch the nail marks on His body, no one could resolve his doubts, and no one could make him let go of them. So, from the time the Lord Jesus allowed him to touch His rib and let him really feel the existence of the nail marks, Thomas’ doubt disappeared, and he truly knew that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected and he acknowledged and believed that the Lord Jesus was the true Christ, that He was God incarnate. Although at this time Thomas no longer doubted, he had lost forever the chance to meet with Christ. He had lost forever the chance to be together with Him, to follow Him, to know Him. He had lost the chance for Christ to perfect him. The Lord Jesus’ appearance and His words provided a conclusion, and a verdict on the faith of those who were full of doubts. He used His actual words and actions to tell the doubters, to tell those who only believed in God in heaven but did not believe in Christ: God did not commend their belief, nor did He commend their following which was full of doubts. The day they fully believed in God and Christ could only be the day that God completed His great work. Of course, that day was also the day that their doubt received a verdict. Their attitude toward Christ determined their fate, and their stubborn doubt meant their faith gained them no results, and their rigidness meant their hopes were in vain. Because their belief in God in heaven was fed on illusions, and their doubt toward Christ was actually their true attitude toward God, even though they touched the nail marks on the Lord Jesus’ body, their faith was still useless and their outcome can only be described as beating the wind—in vain. What the Lord Jesus said to Thomas was also very clearly telling every person: The resurrected Lord Jesus is the Lord Jesus that had initially spent thirty-three and a half years working among mankind. Although He had been nailed to the cross and experienced the valley of the shadow of death, and He had experienced…

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