4.16.17








Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Jesus’ Appearances After the Resurrection

Luke and John both describe at length Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances to his followers. (Mark mentions these briefly as well.) Jesus’ appearance before “doubting Thomas” and the other disciples (in John and in Luke) are well known and contain a number of little details.


For instance, Jesus appeared “when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders”—a minor sentence, but one that communicates the terror and bewilderment that must have plagued the disciples in the immediate aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion.

If you had been one of Jesus’ disciples, what might you have done in this situation—reeling from the death of your teacher, fearing for your life, and wondering if everything you believed in was really true?

The Gospel of Luke also describes an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.


With tantalizing but confused rumors of the empty tomb still spreading, Jesus appears in disguise to a pair of his followers. After visiting with and teaching them for some time, Jesus reveals himself in a beautifully-described scene:

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.


They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”


The Gospel of John provides a few more memorable stories. First, Jesus (again, unrecognized at first) performs his last recorded miracle, overwhelming the disciples’ fishing nets with a huge catch.


Shortly thereafter is the moving story of Peter’s reinstatement.

Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus three times during his master’s trial, is questioned by Jesus… three times.


It is during this questioning that Jesus gives Peter the famous charge to “Feed my sheep.”


Jesus Gives the Great Commission

Matthew and Mark both close with the “Great Commission,” Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to go out into the world and spread the good news of salvation:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)


This passage has long been the basis of the Christian emphasis on sharing the Gospel with the world through evangelism and missionary work.

Mark and Luke describe Jesus’ departure from earth into heaven, “taken up into heaven” after speaking to his disciples a final time.


It’s clear from the Gospel accounts that the story of Jesus reaches its culmination with the Resurrection. But the tidbits we do get about the post-Resurrection days not only satisfy some of our curiosity about how Jesus’ Resurrection was received by his followers, but also give us the evangelistic direction that guides Christ-followers to this day.




HOW DID THIS MESSAGE REACH YOU TODAY?





"A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act."
- Mahatma Gandhi -