Once again I’m bridging the Gospels in a single blog from the resurrection to the beginning. In the case of John, however, it’s quite a bridge — to back before time, which is where John starts! But before we start with John, let’s finish with Luke…
Didn’t our hearts burn? Lk 24:32
The longest story that Luke relates in the resurrection story is about the two disciples that were walking back to Emmaus, a town that is reported to be about 7 miles into the country from Jerusalem. One of them, named Cleopas, may be the husband of a woman (another Mary) who was among the women who watched the Savior die (John 19:25) and was present when the tomb was discovered empty (Mark 16:1). He and his companion certainly had a lot to discuss and puzzle out in their approximately 2-3 hour walk to Eamaus, the perplexing reports of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. As they were discussing these things, a stranger approached and joined their conversation. Interestingly enough, the stranger seemed to have answers and explanations from the Scriptures to what was confusing them. They were so excited by the stranger’s answers to these mysteries that they invited him to stay and have something to eat, when they reached their destination. At dinner, the stranger did something odd, He took and broke the bread (usually a host’s job), and in the breaking of the break, the eyes of Cleopas and his friend were opened to understand that it was Jesus — at which time, He disappeared. They went quickly back to Jerusalem to report what they had seen to the 11 apostles. From slow hearts of unbelief (24:25) to burning hearts of convicted belief (24:32). If slow of heart is a 1 and burning hearts is a 10, where are you on the scale? What do your the changes to your life say?
Insight into the resurrection body Lk 24:36ff
The inspired apostle Paul tells us that 1 Corinthians 15:47-49 “The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” This being true there are some things that we can know about the wonderful beyond imagination resurrection bodies that we’ll be given one day. One, they’re not ethereal, they are touchable with flesh and bones. Two, it is seeable and hearable. Three, it can actually eat something. Four, it can appear and disappear.
John — a brief introduction
John’s Gospel is considered to be the last of the Gospels to be written. It is often labeled the Gospel of Belief, since its declared purpose is (John 20:30, 31) “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” It includes a few of the same stories we can read in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels), but many more that are not.
The Word became flesh — John 1
This passage makes it really clear that Jesus was no mere man, miraculous born of a virgin that God sort of adopted (as certain religious beliefs hold). He came from the eternal past, equal to the Father, but emptied Himself (Philippians 2:5ff) to put on the clothing of humble, temptable human flesh. I’m not sure if the best of the best of human minds can quite grasp anything but a fraction of a fraction of what that really entailed. He is here called the Word, which has become flesh; and much has been rightly made of how words are sometimes lacking, but how examples are much fuller — and how the Word becoming flesh, dwelling among us, demonstrating God’s way among us is the fullest revelation of God to man. The Hebrew writer said, Hebrews 1:1-3 “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Indeed, anytime you want to understand God’s word better, check out the Gospels and watch God’s Word in action.
John’s direct witness — John 1:21ff
The apostle John was a disciple of John the Baptist before he began following Jesus, and he remembers John the Baptist identifying Jesus very clearly indeed:
- make straight the way of the Lord
- One whom you do not know
- the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie
- the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
- for He existed before me
- One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit
- Son of God
Any questions. 🙂
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.