Last week, I wrote about the resurrection of Jesus and what it means to us. Today, I will write about the short time when Jesus ministered on earth after His resurrection.
I will highlight only two stories from this time, but there are several more stories from this time in Jesus’ ministry that you all can read at your convenience, and I encourage you to do so. Here are all of the accounts about Jesus’ time on earth after the resurrection: Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24 , and John 20 and John 21.
Story 1: Luke 24:13-35 The first story that I will share is of Jesus’ experience talking to the two men who were walking on the road to Emmaus. These men had had hopes that Jesus would redeem Israel. They were distressed by the fact that He had been killed, and perplexed to have come to the knowledge that He had risen from the dead and was no longer in His tomb.
When Jesus met up with these men, He asked them what they were talking about as they walked sadly along.
“Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” Luke 24:18 (NKJV)
Jesus asked him what things he was talking about, and the two men then shared their disappointments and dilemmas concerning what had happened to Jesus of Nazareth (the men did not realize who they were talking to).
Jesus had an interesting response to what the men shared.
“Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:25-27 (NKJV)
I am struck by Jesus’ wisdom and tact. Instead of quickly revealing who He was, He went through the scriptures and showed from the scriptures that He had fulfilled the mission of the Christ. Indeed, Jesus has told us to search the scriptures because they teach us about Him John 5:39.
Then, when the men persuaded Jesus to come and eat with them in the village that they had arrived at, Jesus convinced them, without a doubt, of His identity. He took bread, broke it and prayed over it, and afterwards, He vanished. The men knew that the Man who had been with them was Jesus.
Story 2: The second story that I would like to share is regarding Thomas’ experience seeing Jesus after His resurrection. For this story, I will simply share the Bible verses from which it is taken below. To understand the full context of the story, I welcome you to read the whole account in John 20:1-31.
“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 midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:19-31 (KJV)
This story teaches us a very valuable lesson. There can come a point in our lives when we have enough evidence to believe in God and His ways, and yet we still indulge in doubt. God is merciful and often gives us bonus evidence (evidence beyond what we really need) in order to help us to believe what He says, but it makes His heart rejoice when we believe Him based on the amount of evidence that He has already given us- which He knows is sufficient for us. This reminds me of another story which deals with Jesus’ ability rather than His identity, but which is a powerful example of someone who was willing to believe in Jesus’ power to heal based on what he already knew and believed about Jesus’ abilities and without bonus evidence.
“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel…
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” Matthew 8:5-10 and 13 (KJV)
Jesus has such a beautiful character. I have never, ever met anyone who has such a loving, just, balanced and pure character as He does. I hope that you all will stay tuned with me as I wrap up my series on Jesus over the next several weeks.
The verses from Luke 24 which I quoted in this blog-post are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.