22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
I have always found it interesting that of the over 500 people who saw Jesus after the resurrection, none of them were unbelievers. If I were Jesus, I would have paraded right back into Jerusalem, walked into the Temple and shown those who crucified me that they failed and that I was God, whom I said I was. I would have walked into Pilate’s chamber and demanded him to repent of his sin and call me Lord. But that was not Jesus’ purpose. He only appeared to those who believed in Him and to thus verify their faith.
Thomas’s question is legitimate. How would it be that Jesus would show Himself to His followers and not to the world at large? Wouldn’t everyone see Him risen and alive?
The answer speaks directly to two elements of the post resurrection Christian life. First off, we who love the Lord will keep the word of the Lord. We will know the Father’s love and He will make His home in us and our home will be in Him. This only makes sense to those of us who believe and are saved. The contrary is also true. Those who reject the Lord do not love Him, do not hear His voice, and will not see His person nor enjoy His presence. We observe this all the time. While standing on the street corner holding a cross with a painted message on it, Christians walk by and thank us while unbelievers treat us as if we are invisible. They have no desire to engage with God’s children.
The second answer of Christ to Thomas’s question about how some will see Christ and some will not is through the coming Holy Spirit. God has given His Holy Spirit to all who believe in Jesus so that those believers will see Christ and hear His teachings with clarity. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who has guided my life and mind since I was fourteen. The Holy Spirit has endeared other Holy Spirit filled people to me. The Holy Spirit has taught me about God the Father and opened my understanding to the riches of Christ. Others, who have not believed in Christ, have read what I have read without understanding; they have heard what I have heard without being thrilled; they have sung the songs I have sung without a trace of worship. Walking the same road they have missed Jesus because they do not possess the Holy Spirit.
Is Jesus visible to you?
One of our church ladies, Michelle, has connections with an orphanage in Haiti. She reported last night that the hurricane did much less damage than it could have. There is a major need however, and that is that the trucks that deliver food to the orphanage will be able to get through the damaged roads. There are over fifty people at the orphanage and their food and water supply are trucked in. They are past their shipment date and short on everything. Pray for this godly group of people who are laboring to provide food, shelter, and school in the name of the Lord Jesus to these orphaned children.
Some of us will be going out again on Friday night to try to engage people in salvation conversations. Pray for open and humble hearts to respond.
Have a great day in the Lord,